During the life of Windows XP, it was popular enough that Microsoft Canada (1) never put it on sale; and (2) consistently over-charged customers for it, relative to the Canada-US exchange rate. The upgrade price for XP Home was almost always $149 in Canada, $99 in USA -- even when the exchange rate would have priced the monopolist's product at $129 and lower.
Not so with Vista. Mere months after it became available as a retail product, it is being sold at a discount nearly non-stop. Yesterday, on Amazon.ca, some of the myriads of Vista variants are 15% on sale, and featured on the front page, meaning Microsoft is also paying for product placement.
Today, we read of Dell warning corporate customers against upgrading to Vista: Dell is "stepping back" from telling people they must upgrade.
Dell and other hardware vendors are giving customers OS options, unheard of in the years when Microsoft was still able to instill fear in its "partners" and the media. (At one point, Microsoft was arrogant enough to attempt to suppress sales of "white boxes," computers sold without an operating system -- the kind of computer I buy.) Other reports now show that Vista has had a dampening effect on the sales of PCs -- rather than the billions in economic boom that Microsoft spinners boasted for Vista. And one more report of significance: more programmers are switching away from Microsoft's lock-in APIs and programming languages.
More proof that Microsoft has peaked and is now on the downward side of its influence on the computer industry.