Microsoft Corp. MSFT unveiled Windows Vista on this day 17 years ago, six years after the launch of the highly successful Windows XP operating system.

Microsoft started working on Vista even before XP was released in 2001. While initially intended to be a small stop-gap update before the next major release, Microsoft made major changes to Vista’s user interface, security, and performance.

A Major Design Leap

At the end of 2006, Microsoft finished developing the operating system and rolled out Vista to the general public on Jan. 30, 2007.

Microsoft’s slogan for Windows Vista was “The wow starts now,” and the company had good reason to claim so. The new Aero user interface, support for fast flash memory, instant search, Windows Defender, and several other new features made for a major leap from XP.

See Also: If You Invested $1000 In Apple When Macintosh Was Introduced 40 Years Ago, Here’s How Much You’d Have Today

Not Enough ‘Wow’

However, Vista was marred by various issues, including speed, compatibility, performance, and even pricing.

Windows XP’s major success also meant that it was deployed on hundreds of millions of computers and devices worldwide. Nearly 800 million computers were using Windows XP in 2008.

In fact, XP was the most used operating system in the world till 2012, more than five years since Vista’s launch.

However, Microsoft did not give up on the improvements it had made with Windows Vista. It fixed the problems with the operating system and announced Windows 7 in October 2009. Just like XP, Windows 7 was also successful.

Let’s look at how Microsoft stock has fared since the company launched Windows Vista 17 years ago.

Microsoft stock price from Jan. 30, 2007, till today

As you can see, Microsoft’s share price, adjusted for rights shares, bonus shares, stock splits, and other corporate actions, was $30.48 on Jan. 30, 2007.

Microsoft’s stock price today is $403.93, which is an increase of 1,225% during this period.

Value of a $1,000 investment in Microsoft stock, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices, respectively, from Jan. 30, 2007, till today

If you had invested $1,000 in Microsoft stock on Jan. 30, 2007, you would have $13,252 today.

Likewise, if you had invested $1,000 in an index fund replicating Nasdaq, you would have $6,312.

A similar $1,000 investment in an index fund replicating the S&P 500 would be worth $3,423.

Windows Copiloted By AI

While Windows design has been progressively modernized, Microsoft has started adding the flavor of the season – artificial intelligence (AI) – to one of its longest-living products.

While PC shipments have been slowing down globally, there are signs of a revival on the horizon, according to analyst firm Counterpoint Research. This is something that chipmaker Intel Corp. INTC is also banking on.

Data from industry tracker IDC shows global PC shipments in 2023 stood at 259.5 million, almost recovering to pre-Covid levels of 261 million units.

The Windows maker is betting big on AI-powered Copilot, adding a dedicated key to the keyboard in its bid to make 2024 the “year of AI PC.”

“We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC,” said Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Microsoft.

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Read Next: If You Invested $1,000 In Microsoft When Windows 2.0 Was Launched, Here’s How Much You’d Have Today

Photo courtesy: Alex Leung on Flickr

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