Macworld Online voters think Microsoft Windows Vista will "bring new bugs to the world".

We asked readers to complete the following sentence: "Microsoft Windows Vista...". They had three options to complete the statement:

"Bringing clarity to the world";
"Bringing new bugs to the world";
"Bringing more market share for Mac".

Last week reports claimed programming code (Monad) allegedly included with Microsoft's new OS had already been used to create a family if viruses for the new system.

Microsoft has since moved to stress that Monad will not ship with its new OS

Mac market boost?

In an age of spam, spyware and viruses, concerns remain. 439 Macworld Online voters (42 per cent of the sample group) expect such significant Windows disasters will, "bring more market share for Mac".

Just 53 people (5 per cent) anticipate Windows Vista will "bring clarity", the majority (546 voters, 53 per cent) expect new bugs will debut as the new OS finally lands in late 2006. 1,038 readers voted in the poll.

Despite Window's history of security vulnerabilities, Apple will still face a fight, some readers warn, Microsoft is likely to flex its marketing muscle to ensure sales, one reader wrote: "Microsoft will use its advertising and marketing power to smack Apple hard, and Apple had better respond with more than oh-so-clever advertising of very few products (seen many Mac mini ads on the TV? Thought not.) or an over-reliance on the so-called 'halo' effect."

Another warned: "I think that Vista will be a real challenge to Mac OS X"

But no walk in the park

The challenge and window of opportunity for Microsoft remains clear. It faces a market that's unhappy about Windows security, stability and reliability, one reader said. "Micrsosoft has a chance to start with a fairly clean slate and provide users with a reliable, secure and easy to use OS." Aggressive marketing won't be enough.

"It's all going to be about the customer experience. If customers discover that Vista is all that they expect it to be, then they will be content. If they feel let down, then it will be a disaster and there won't be another chance to get it right. Users will find alternative solutions.

"It's hard to see how Apple can fail to benefit from this situation. OS X preceded Vista by many years and already offers features and maturity that Vista won't have for many years to come, if ever. If Vista flops, Apple is an obvious alternative for many."

This old (dual) boot

There will be market competition, one reader predicted: "If Apple can offer a good competitively priced machine (in relation to those needed to fully run Vista), it will have a good chance of increasing market share.

The opportunity to boot Vista and Mac OS X on a single Intel Mac may also transform the computing landscape. "Vista will be the No1 selling OS, and the question is, will it cause enough problems to PC users to spur them into switching to OS X?"

"I personally think a high proportion of Intel Mac Users, will have Vista on their machine as well. So really it comes down to which OS they boot up in the most, and whether software developers can continue to justify developing for two OSs, when both run on Macs."

The assumption that Microsoft's new OS may not live up to the hype Redmond will doubtless generate when the product ships is also dangerous: "A bad track record doesn't mean Microsoft won't create something great this time. Let's not be complacent. Microsoft has some good developers and financial resources."