Microsoft has taken body blows over the last couple of years over its cheeseburger of an operating system, Vista.  Its main competitor has a national advertising campaign exploiting its unpopularity with users, while many of their customers still refuse to upgrade from XP.  The Vista brand has gotten so bad that Microsoft actually had to run an advertisement showing that they had to fool users into looking at Vista — not exactly a morale-builder for those stuck with their Vista operational issues.

Now Microsoft has announced the successors to Vista, due out over the next two years, Azure and Windows 7.  Unfortunately, on the same article reporting this development, one of Microsoft’s partners ran this ad:

What are you waiting for?  Azure or Windows 7, now that we know they’re just around the corner.  Why would anyone “make the move to Windows Vista with confidence” when even Microsoft isn’t confident in Vista?  The advertisers don’t have a lot of say about which ads get which placement, but one would figure that Microsoft had informed Dell that a new OS was about to be announced — and maybe Dell should have quit asking consumers to stop waiting for Vista when they may as well wait for Azure or 7.

PC World reports that Windows will get slimmed down significantly in the new release.  It will have much fewer embedded programs and instead give users the option to download only those native apps they desire.  Microsoft hopes to eliminate the conflicts and the overload that plague Vista now.  It will require users to be on the Internet, but most people already are for significant periods with their computers.

It sounds like Microsoft learned a lesson.  So did its users.