Did Windows Vista Kill Your Dog Or Something?

With that in mind, it's worth pondering the question: What's the real source of the continued negativity around Vista, and why do some IT professionals still love to tear it apart whenever it's mentioned?

Solution providers have had a front row seat to Vista's trial and tribulations, and their opinions are largely based in fact. But a growing number of Microsoft partners feel that Vista negativity is the result of a giant, ongoing 'telephone game' in which people are simply passing along messages they've heard that Vista sucks, even if they've never actually used it.

Granted, in the months after its release, Vista spawned headaches for many solution providers and consumers, and businesses avoided it like a trip to the dentist. But Microsoft says Service Pack 1 fixes most of the early performance issues, and it has worked with partners to iron out driver and application compatibility issues.

Vista loathing was seen earlier this week when a Vista ad, purportedly part of Microsoft's upcoming $300 million Vista makeover campaign, began making the rounds in the blogosphere.

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Some bloggers poked fun at the ad's imagery -- a ship sailing the ocean, with the caption: "At one time, everyone thought the world was flat."

However, it turned out that the ad wasn't new, and had actually been circulating on the Microsoft Website for months. Still, many VARs contacted by ChannelWeb could hardly contain their glee as they seized on yet another opportunity to put the boot in on their least favorite OS.

"The only thing that's inaccurate about the ad is that the ship hasn't sunk yet," one solution provider chuckled.

Microsoft, for its part, is redoubling its efforts to combat the negativity. At Microsoft's recent Worldwide Partner Conference, the message was slightly exasperated: "It's time to take another look at Vista, and it's time for partners to do their part to communicate to customers that Vista isn't as bad as everyone says."

With Windows 7 slated for launch sometime in early 2010, it'll be interesting to see how public perception of Vista will change over the next 18 months. Or will Windows 7 simply replace Vista as the industry's favorite punching bag?