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12/18/2007
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Vista is Bad. Should Smaller Businesses Go For it Anyway?

Vista's adoption rate among businesses is much lower than anticipated, largely because of difficulties many businesses have had with its deployment. So why are analysts urging more businesses to get on board? Is there a compelling reason for smaller businesses to abandon XP?

Vista's adoption rate among businesses is much lower than anticipated, largely because of difficulties many businesses have had with its deployment. So why are analysts urging more businesses to get on board? Is there a compelling reason for smaller businesses to abandon XP?InformationWeek reports that according to Gartner, Vista is installed on 0.9 percent of enterprise PCs, compared with last year's projection that Vista would be on 6 percent of enterprise PCs by now. It's hardly surprising, considering the rap Microsoft's latest operating system has taken in the press.

Smaller businesses are no exception. ExtremeTech quotes IT consultant Nathan Taylor, who is with Denver-based RK Consulting, who says, "As a business that does IT consulting for small businesses, I can tell you that the uptake on the small-business side is almost nonexistent."

The article continues: "For a multitude of solution providers such as CDW and RK Consulting, Vista has been more of a conversation topic than a business driver. Customers have shown little or no inclination to adopt it for a number of reasons, including costly hardware demands and application incompatibilities."

Those are two deal breakers for smaller businesses, who can't afford the time or money that problems like those require. Yet IW writer J. Nicholas Hoover notes that: "Gartner recently issued a report saying that companies have "significantly delayed" Vista adoption--and warning that it wouldn't be prudent to skip Vista altogether and wait for its successor."

Huh?

In another blog Hoover explains: "Gartner was reduced to urging companies not to skip Vista entirely because it will just make the next operating system upgrade that much more difficult than the Vista migration has been for some companies. Riding out XP for a few more years might not sound like a bad thing now, but the code is getting old. By the time Windows "7" gets released, XP's backbone will be eight years old, an eternity in today's fast moving software world."

But meanwhile, as Hoover points out, many of Vista's "annoyances" are not being fixed by Microsoft because it can't or it won't. Also, as he notes, "Windows Vista is just different enough from Windows XP to require some employees be re-trained."

Larger enterprises can afford to deal with "annoyances" and retraining issues. Smaller businesses just can't. Feeling forced to adopt Vista just because XP's code will be considered "old" in a few years doesn't seem to make sense. Maybe if more businesses stick with XP, Microsoft will feel more compelled to iron out Vista's kinks and make Vista adoption something businesses want to do rather than feel forced to do.

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