Death, Taxes, And Vista - InformationWeek

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10/9/2006
02:41 PM
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Death, Taxes, And Vista

The customer perspective on new operating systems hasn't changed in 20 years: Users adopt software after balancing the usual limitations--time, personpower, and IT budget--versus whatever benefits they're expecting compared to the previous Windows version they already have installed. When the equation is right, they move.

Vista is inevitable, just like generations of Windows upgrades before it, and so I confess I don't really understand what the gnashing of teeth has been all about. If it's delayed another six months, so what? As they always have, customers will implement new software when it makes financial sense for them to do so.

And if they need to wait because of a Microsoft delay, what choice do they really have anyway?Every time a new Windows OS is announced, the industry becomes hysterical. The hype is unbelievable. And yes, I realize that livelihoods are at stake here, especially for people who work at hardware and software vendors that plug into the Windows ecosystem.

But most of the hoopla, at its essence, has to do with when Microsoft will realize a return on its investment and when the company's shareholders will see a corresponding boost in the stock price.

That hasn't changed in 20 years, nor has the customer perspective: Users adopt software after balancing the usual limitations--time, personpower, and IT budget--versus whatever benefits they're expecting compared to the previous Windows version they already have installed. When the equation is right, they move.

A new InformationWeek survey of 672 tech professionals sheds more light on Vista adoption plans. Around 40% plan to install Vista within a year of its release, with another 26% saying they'll implement the OS at some point. When they do implement, most will transition up to a quarter of PCs to Vista the first year, up to half the second year, and the rest of their PCs in the third year.

For about two-thirds of companies, the move to Vista will involve a combination of PC upgrades and new PC purchases. A quarter of the respondents will bring in Vista mainly when they buy new PCs.

Nine of 10 companies plan to use Vista to replace Windows XP, and more than half will replace Windows NT or Windows 2000. Four out of five plan to purchase Windows Longhorn Server, due in the second half of 2007, and 43% say Office 2007 is somewhat or very important to their Vista purchasing plans.

Be all this as it may, I don't believe these plans are substantially different from Windows adoption scenarios of generations past.

What do you think? Is this round of Windows upgrades different because of the delays with Vista, or because of other factors? Weigh in below.The customer perspective on new operating systems hasn't changed in 20 years: Users adopt software after balancing the usual limitations--time, personpower, and IT budget--versus whatever benefits they're expecting compared to the previous Windows version they already have installed. When the equation is right, they move.

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