News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Vista: Should I stay or should I go?

The great 20th-century British philosopher Mick Jones once asked the defining question of his era: “Should I stay or should I go?

OK, OK, OK. Jones wasn’t a philosopher. He was the singer for The Clash. But his words are ringing truer today than perhaps ever before, as consumers and CIOs alike ponder if they should stay with Windows XP or go to Windows Vista. And the recent advice coming from the analyst community isn’t doing much to help these people answer Jones’ question.

Back in April, Forrester Research analyst Benjamin Gray issued a report called “Building the Business Case for Windows Vista.” In it, he recommended that most business users start Vista migrations soon. Otherwise, he warned, they could fall behind Microsoft’s support cycle, or they could be left waiting for a new operating system — Microsoft’s Windows 7 — that they know nothing about, and that won’t be available for years.

But just last week, Gray’s Forrester colleague, Thomas Mendel, put out a report saying that enterprises have rejected Vista. Microsoft immediately jumped all over the report, with Windows Vista blogger Chris Flores saying Forrester is “schizophrenic.”

(For the record, schizophrenia is a disorder that affects a person’s perception of reality. It’s not the same as multiple personality disorder, which I think is the psychiatric diagnosis that Flores meant to give to Forrester. But I digress.)

Flores went on to offer some statistics and other evidence to refute Mendel’s claim that enterprises have rejected Vista. He also said Mendel’s report “appears to be more focused on making sensationalist statements, rather than offering a thoughtful industry perspective,” which is pretty ironic coming from a blog post titled, “Forrester Gets Schizophrenic on Windows Vista.” That’s not sensational at all, right?

Anyway, Flores wasn’t alone in his defense of Vista. My colleague Zach Church at just wrote about a new Gartner report that also warns against skipping Vista. Vice president and distinguished analyst Michael Silver told him: “What we’ve seen is any time people try to skip a version of Windows, they encounter these perils … As XP gets older, you may hit more issues and at some point — we think that point is 2012 — you will need to bite the bullet and move all your users from XP to Windows 7.”

Jones was never able to answer his question, noting that, “if I go, there could be trouble, but if I stay, it will be double.” Business users don’t have that luxury. They’ll have to make a decision sooner or later, and based on the recommendations out there, neither option looks too appealing.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Gartner report? Yeah right, that's like believing a scientific study funded by a drug company. Hmm, it couldn't be that Microsoft is paying people off for more favorable reports to increase sales?
Like ME Microsoft should cut its losses an work on redoing Vista
I personally will not recommend vista to anyone, I will not move from XP to Vista. Any migration of OS (operating System) will be from XP to Linux (Open Source). Companies need to look beyond the horizon, and invest in Open Source rather than another failed OS from Microsoft after twenty odd years trying to get that perfect OS.
As an independant retailer, my observations are; Vista sales are only at the level they are due to it being bundled by the big boys (it generates lots or £2.00 / min phone calls). Our sales pattern which includes retail & business is 1 in 8 takes Vista. We have a surplus of removed Vista licences, removed from laptops mainly, as customers choose XP or Linux. Of our own build PC's since Feb 2007 We have sold one Vista machine, the rest being XP or Linux.
In truth, I am far more neutral. I host machines by the need of what we are creating, generally linux, sometimes Mac, sun, and yeah why not windows. Unfortunately most of our developers really dont like change - heck, getting to XP was difficult enough. I really don't like no support FUD these days, or the inability to get anything reasonable pre-loaded (but preloaded machines is another gripe). Quite a bit of the software I load has not been officially released for VISTA, so I feel our users will follow the last of our suppliers (somewhere). The onlything compelling about Vista these days is the lift to XP memory restrictions. And god knows, apps consume what they will.