Saturday, September 6, 2008

XP SP3, Windows 7, and Linux Not Sufficient to Avoid Vista SP1

Windows XP, now with Service Pack 3, Windows 7 and even the open source Linux do not provide sufficient reasons to avoid upgrading to Windows Vista SP1. According to market analyst company Forrester, in the corporate environments, Vista adoption is up no less than 75%, taking into consideration data from the fourth quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of this year. In fact, Forrester indicates the IT infrastructure soil is fertile and the time is ripe for Vista migrations to be underway. In excess of half of 100,000 customers were surveyed in this context.

"IT operations professionals need to prepare for a more decisive shift in their desktop operating
system (OS) strategy. Why now? Because Microsoft released Windows Vista to the general public more than 18 months ago - which is typically how long IT departments need to test their applications and hardware against any new OS. Forrester's month-on-month study of more than 50,000 of our clients' OS preferences confirmed that users are on track with enterprises' initial Windows Vista deployment plans," said Benjamin Gray, Forrester Analyst.

Back at the end of July, when Forrester Research analyst Thomas Mendel published a whitepaper indicating that Windows Vista continued to fail at gaining traction in among business customers, Microsoft came out guns blazing. Christopher Flores, Director Windows Communications, called the report schizophrenic, for claiming that corporations were looking past Vista and waiting for Windows 7. The latest Forrester report on Vista is much more favorable to the latest Windows client indicating that no less than 8.8% of businesses are running the operating system (via VistaBlorge).

"IT operations folks are at a critical inflection point and should deploy Windows Vista to: 1) stay current with Microsoft's and independent software vendors' (ISVs') support life cycles; 2) help minimize today's security, management, and productivity challenges; and 3) better position your business to eventually embrace 'Windows 7', because Windows Vista investments will ultimately pay off with better compatibility for this next release," Gray added.

With Vista smoothing the way to Windows 7, Forrester claims that Windows XP will not be an alternative much longer. Despite SP3 and Vista downgrade rights, XP is increasingly becoming obsolete, with the new Windows campaign bound to bring the focus back to Vista and with much more powerful 2GB machines available for lower prices. At the same time, while Linux is not a big hit with corporations, Apple's Mac seems to benefit from a growing appeal. "Our study also revealed interesting insight into Mac and Linux penetration, where desktop managers are painting a rosy future for Apple on the corporate desktop, but less so for Linux," Gray said.

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