Microsoft Vista voted world’s top ‘Fiasco’

Windows Vista garnered 5,222 of 6,043 votes (86 %) entered via the Web to snag top honors in the first-ever Fiasco Awards announced in Barcelona, Spain, today, beating out other contenders, including Google's Lively virtual world, the One Laptop per Child computer (developed by the Nicholas Negroponte-chaired One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc.) and Second Life. Second prize went to SAGA, the oft-malfunctioning administration and academic management system developed by Spain's Catalan Education Department for public school teachers in Catalonia. Vista was announced in July 2005 and hit the market in January 2007 after a mega PR blitz by Microsoft, which promised it would be a slick, secure successor to the company's popular Windows XP operating system. Vista came with an eye-catching graphical user interface, and Microsoft positioned the operating system's Windows Media Center software as a tool that would make the PC the new hub of home entertainment systems. What Microsoft made less clear was that many customers couldn't run Vista without upgrading their PCs.

What's more, the Fiasco Awards Web site points out, the new operating system was complicated to navigate and had compatibility problems with many programs and hardware drivers, leading many people to just stick with Windows XP. Vista was such a dismal failure that many PC makers even recommended that consumers steer clear of it. The company's recent introduction of Windows 7