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2/11/2009
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California Agency Skips Vista, Goes Directly To Windows 7

Department of Managed Health Care has put Vista on permanent sick leave.

In the latest sign that Microsoft's Vista has flopped in the business computing market, a California state agency is planning to forgo the much-maligned operating system and upgrade its computers from Windows XP directly to Windows 7 after the latter becomes available.




Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

According to the California Department of Managed Health Care's four-year IT capital upgrade plan, a copy of which has been obtained by InformationWeek, the agency will migrate its computers from Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7 in the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years.

The department also will move from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, and from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange 2007, over the same period. The document makes no mention of Vista.

The fact is, very few large organizations are eyeing Vista. A survey released last year by the United Kingdom's Corporate IT Forum showed that only 4% of businesses in that country were using Windows Vista on workplace systems, while 35% said they were "not yet interested" in Vista.

A document previously obtained by InformationWeek revealed that state IT officials in Maine will skip Vista and stick with XP until Windows 7 becomes available sometime in late 2009 or early 2010. Business users have complained about Vista's resource requirements, intrusive security measures, and lack of compatibility with older software.

Microsoft recently reported that Windows sales slumped 8% in the company's second quarter.

Vista's unpopularity in the business world may have forced Microsoft to extend XP's shelf life. The company officially retired the OS last June for most markets, but continues to make XP Professional available to PC makers, who offer it as a "downgrade" option from Vista on business systems.

Microsoft, however, has warned that Windows 7 and Vista share the same basic architecture. As a result, applications that aren't compatible with Vista won't likely run on Windows 7, either.

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