Windows Vista users are now nearly all satisfied with the company's latest operating system, claimed a senior Microsoft executive in what appears to be a Vista-friendly PR surge by the company.

UK Windows product manager Laurence Painell claimed that 90 percent of Windows Vista customers either like or love Microsoft's otherwise seemingly troubled operating system.

"We're now seeing that nine out of 10 customers that are using Vista are either satisfied or very satisfied with the experiences that they are having on a regular basis," Painell told

Painell - who has worked at Microsoft since March - claims that Vista is the fastest-selling Windows OS ever with around 180 million licences sold since its 2007 launch.

Windows Vista SP2 Beta

Microsoft says that one of the early Vista negatives - major software and hardware compatibility problems - has been resolved, with Vista now supporting more than 77,000 devices and 2,700 software packages.

"It's pretty difficult to go into a retailer and find a device that would not work for Windows Vista," Painell said.

Suggesting that Vista's successor, Windows 7, won't be available until 2011 Painell did admit that "Some businesses plan to move onto Windows 7 and skip Vista."

What's new in Windows Vista SP2?

Painell is clearly singing from the corporate singsheet. Days earlier Richard Francis, General Manager of Windows Client Group for Microsoft Asia Pacific, was quoted as saying that, overall, sales of Windows Vista licences have passed 180 million since launch, and at least 100 million Windows Vista users have actively hit Windows Update.

Francis said that, in the first half of the calendar year 2008, Windows Vista had 23 percent fewer vulnerabilities than Windows XP, and 21 per cent fewer high-severity vulnerabilities.

"We have received positive feedback from our enterprise and SMB customers in APAC who have experienced the business benefits of Windows Vista," said Francis.

"The history of the operating system lifecycle clearly suggests an increase in deployment 18 months into the launch or close to release of SP1. This is the right time and we are seeing customers starting to deploy, especially with Windows Vista SP1.

"Windows Vista satisfaction is actually increasing over time - research tells us customer satisfaction levels increase among those who bought Windows Vista during just the last six months. This data also shows that favourability increases as people become more familiar with it. We are also on track to a faster rate of deployment in the enterprise compared to past releases including Windows XP and Windows 2000 during the same timeframe," claimed Francis.

Microsoft's share of the operating system market dipped below 90 percent for the first time during November with Windows accounting for 89.6 percent of computers accessing the web, according to Net Applications.

Apple's Mac OS X was the biggest beneficiary of Windows' decline, achieving 8.9 percent of the market by the end of November. Net Applications said Apple's OS has now accounted for more than 8 percent of the market for three months in a row.

Windows Vista SP2 improvements ‘negligible’

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