Microsoft’s promise of productivity gains and lower management costs with Windows Vista is unlikely to prompt many firms to upgrade any sooner than they would under their existing lifecycle renewal programmes, according to blue chip user group the Corporate IT Forum.
The desktop operating system, which is due to be launched to business users on 30 November, is being touted as Microsoft’s most significant product release since Windows 95 was introduced 11 years ago. Micro¬soft has said Vista will allow IT departments to reduce desktop management costs by as much as 63% and improve IT security, particularly for mobile users.
But IT directors within the Corporate IT Forum are cautious about whether the benefits of Vista are compelling enough to justify an early upgrade ahead of their desktop renewal timetables.
Ollie Ross, research manager at the Corporate IT Forum, said the group expected that any major deployment of Vista would only be undertaken in the course of planned IT lifecycle renewal, or in response to business change, such as a merger or acquisition.
Ross said many organisations were only now migrating fully to the last major Windows release, XP.
“As far as most of those with large PC estates are concerned, Vista needs to be established, stable and probably have at least the first service pack available and deployable before large organisations will consider embarking upon the task of migration,” she said.
Forrester Research vice-president Simon Yates said, “Many firms would prefer to stick with Windows XP as a single, stable version of Windows that meets most of their end-user application needs.”
Paul Stoddard, Windows client manager at Microsoft, said, “Windows Vista is a significantly new operating system. We believe it is the ideal choice for organisations seeking to operate competitively and enable their workforce to be more productive.”
Although Microsoft is touting lower cost of ownership as one of Vista’s big improvements over Windows XP, Michael Silver, research vice-president at Gartner, warned that 63% was probably a top-end figure. He said a locked and well-managed XP desktop could reduce IT operations costs by about 35%.
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