07:19 PM

Growth Slows For Online Holiday Spending

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Tuesday, Dec 18, 2007

Editor's Note

The Corporate Vista Slow-Down

Last October, a Gartner survey found that 64% of companies planned to begin moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista by the winter of 2008. One year later, that number stands at a measly 9%. Vista may be down, but don't count it out.

Up-front disclaimer time: Vista still has plenty to prove. Its reputation has been damaged by early problems, and Microsoft may need to step up to the plate to bring customers back to the feeding trough earlier than 2009.

Vista has had a fair share of problems, from application incompatibility to sluggish performance. My old Dell loads and runs Windows Vista slower than grandma accelerating from a stoplight. Yet these are expected kinks. Previous versions of Windows have had them to some degree and Microsoft and its hardware and software partners have gotten many of the Vista-related incompatibilities fixed.

Then there are annoyances that Microsoft doesn't seem intent on fixing or can't fix. Windows Vista is just different enough from Windows XP to require some employees be re-trained. Don't want to cough up those extra bucks? The easy out is not to install Vista, and if you do, do what Continental Airlines is doing with some of its Vista PCs and tweak the configuration so it looks, smells, and acts similar to XP. I can only imagine the headaches suffered moving employees from DOS to Windows.

One of Microsoft's main value propositions is Vista's security, but the User Account Control authorization dialog boxes are among the most annoying features of the operating system, even sparking an Apple ad in parody. Still, it can be tweaked or generally even turned off so that it's less grating.

Some would argue the damage has been done. That 64% deployment barrier now isn't expected to be reached until early 2009, just around the time Microsoft stops making Windows XP Professional available to white box PC vendors. And Windows "7," the version after Vista, is due either late 2009 or some time in 2010, depending on who you ask and what tea leaves you read.

To read more about the corporate Vista slow-down, and leave a comment, visit the InformationWeek Blog.

Nick Hoover

Quote of The Day

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures." -- Daniel Webster.

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Growth Slows For Online Holiday Spending
Spending growth for the first part of the holiday season was 18.4%, down from 26% a year ago, ComScore said.

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