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Vista's Long Install & Boot-Up Times Cost Users $81 Billion - Conclusion

Updated on May 25, 2009

In the first part of this article, we examined the unconscionable amount of wasted time in installing and booting up Windows Vista. Now let's extrapolate this total amount of time by the number of Vista users in the world today.

According to Marketshare, Windows Vista as of April 2009 has a 23.9% market share.

According to Internet World Stats, the number of global internet users currently stands at 1,596,270,108. There are likely some Vista users out there who are not included in this number as they are either missed, or not connected to the internet (as hard as it may be to believe in this day and age), but let's go with this figure.

23.9% of 1,596,270,108 people is 381,508,556 individuals who currently have some version of Windows Vista loaded on their systems.

Keep in mind that this 381,508,556 number is the legally installed Windows Vista. Although firm figures are not readily available given the nature of software piracy, we can base some estimates on legitimate research.

This BSA study claims that as of 2008, the total number of software pirated worldwide was 41%. Unfortunately this comprehensive study does not separate Operating System piracy from other software packages, so the figures are for overall software sales lost from piracy.

According to Microsoft in late 2007, Vista piracy was half that of XP, and with the introduction of the much more Draconian Windows Genuine Advantage validation feature on Vista SP1, that number likely has been cut in half again. So why don't we give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and be very conservative in our Vista piracy rate and call it 10%. Therefore, we can reasonably state that there are 381,508,556 legal Vista installations, and (at the very least) 38,150,855 illegal ones for a total of 419,659,411. Let's round it up a smidge to 420 million for the sake of calculation.

Microsoft reported that 20 million copies of Vista were sold in February 2007, the first month of general release, so I've linearly ramped up the installations to the current 420 million installation number for the next calculation. No... I didn't delve into the arcanery of Excel's LINEST functions, I just averaged out the linear increase in 27 months of release.

Once all the figures are factored in, we have a total of boot up time among all Vista owners of:

32,904,562,000,000 seconds
548,409,366,666 minutes
9,140,156,111 hours

Let's assume that each PC has only had Vista installed once (although there are many reports that Vista has to be reinstalled for various reasons). Therefore we have a total of 420 million x 4 hours = 1,680 million hours.

So to the boot up time figure, let's add:

1,680,000,000 hours
9,140,156,111 hours

So that we have a total of:

10,820,156,111 hours

Now let's assume just for the sake of calculation that the average hourly pay of these computer users is $7.50 an hour. That may be rather low in the case of individuals in highly developed countries and quite high in the case of the developing countries, but let's average that out and see what happens.

We get a total of $81,151,170,832.00 of wasted employee time in installing and booting up Vista just once a day. And we're not even remotely considering the time and money wasted in resolving driver conflicts, reinstallations, or the glacially slow disk copying of pre SP1 versions of Vista. No, just the single installation and daily boot up for an Operating System that had no right to be issued in the first place.

Curiously that averages out to $193.22 per user, which is quite close to the average retail price of the various Vista versions.

That total of 81 billion dollars of lost money also represents approximately half of Microsoft's current market cap. What would "the right thing to do" be if you were Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer? Should you compensate every single Vista adoptee with a check in the mail for the total sum of about half the market cap of your company?

That, along with his resignation, should just about begin to set things straight.

There is no way to escape the conclusion that Microsoft has through its negligence in issuing a totally inadequate Operating System cost the world economy and its long suffering Vista users a total of $81 billion!

This represents 81 billion dollars which has been (as I stated previously in this article):

...wasted for what was an essentially useless and begrudgingly rectified misissuance of an Operating System. There is essentially no technological reason why XP's successor could not have been Windows Seven which is a far more capable, faster, and compact Operating System. It's what Vista should have been.

Microsoft: Pay up! I'm waiting for my check!


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What ever you say, Vista SUX even with a 2 GB ram and 2GHz CPU Dual Core and about 160GIG hD free

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      I am an avid CS4 user and that's the main reason why I shelled out the big bucks for a Core i7 920 with 12GB RAM and VelociRaptor boot drive. Photoshop absolutely flies on it. I'm avidly looking forward to Win7 RTM as that should even increase this incredible speed I'm getting on Vista 64 currently!

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      9 years ago

      I have XP on my laptop and Vista on our desktop, and I actually like Vista on the whole better than XP. I admit Vista took a while to get used to initially, but now after more than a year of using it, I don't like using my laptop with XP anymore. If my laptop could handle it, I'd install Vista there, too. :P But I do agree that Vista requires a lot of RAM. When we purchased our desktop, we were told to get at least 2GB of RAM if we planned to install Vista.

      Bottomline, Vista is not for older, less capable computers. Then again, the new versions of all software never are. For example, I use Adobe products and the new CS4 version won't run on slower machines anymore. It's a fact of computing life. :D

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      I'm one of the believers that if you can limit your software to that which will comfortably work on 98SE and you can keep yourself free from viruses, you're way better off on it than any other OS. Let's face it, 98SE will let you surf the net, use Office, and do pretty well anything else you want to do with relative ease and speed on any sub-1GHz CPU with 256MB or even 128MB RAM! I love 98SE. My big problem is that I use various snew, huge software packages which simply will squash 98SE. But if I was a more or less average user, I'd likely stick with it! :)

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I had enough trouble moving from 98SP2 to XP! Even XP is a massive user of disc space and ram, very flabby and slow to load.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      I'm running Vista 64 Home Premium on my Core i7 920 and I fully agree with you that it is very fast. The problem seems to appear when a user applies the OS to a much less capable computer. Although Microsoft states that Vista requires a 1GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM it's an absolute slug on a machine that slow and limited... right to the point of unusability. However, either XP or Windows 7 will run on those systems just fine. I believe that the 1GHz and 1GB minimum requirement for Vista is a joke. 2GHz (per core) and 2GB is truly the effective minimum for reasonable performance and agility. I'm really looking forward to Windows 7 RTM. I'm sure it's going to make my rocketship computer even faster! :)

    • C.Ferreira profile image


      9 years ago from Rutland, VT

      This is very interesting. I don't see what the problem is with Vista though. I have had it since the early days and I have never had a problem with it. Its fast, easy, and effective!

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Thanks! Let me know when Microsoft sends you your check! :)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Well said.


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