Golden Rant : The 100 days of Vista

According to Microsoft's PR company, Weber-Shandwick, it's now just over a 100 days since Vista was launched and, since the launch on January 30th, around 1,600 new drivers a month have been added to those available when the new operating system was unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

To date, in fact, more than 30,000 drivers are available on the Windows Update portal, says Microsoft. Hang on a minute, how many drivers are there out there in the real world?

My programmer mate Ben reckons there are around 100,000 in active real-world use, with a further 100,000 in use by smaller numbers of people. So the reality is that Vista has 30 per cent compatibility with existing Windows software.

But Microsoft says there is now a utility available - Windows Upgrade Advisor - a downloadable tool from WindowsVista.com that helps consumers determine whether their Windows XP-based PCs can be upgraded to Vista.

The tool (it says here) "creates an easy-to-understand report of all known system, device and programme-compatibility issues, and recommends ways to resolve them."

Okay, but with only a 30 per cent level of driver compatibility, there's a good chance your Windows PC has at least one application on it that's not Vista compatible.

Never mind, if you can afford the upgrade prices that Vista is going for in PC World, you can afford to buy new software, can't you. Call me cynical, but Microsoft's `Vista 100 days' press release was issued on the same day that Tony Blair announced he was going. And the bank base rate went up again. Weber Shandwick wouldn't be trying to bury their good news about Vista, now would they?