In his last post, Kennedy discusses an interesting point that no other Vista bashing article has addressed so far. He voices a fear that is probably shared by most IT Pros who have decided against Vista. They might not be aware of it, but it is nagging unconsciously under the surface: Will I be left behind if I skip Vista? Is there something essential I missed about Vista?

Kennedy tries to ease the mind of the worried IT pro:

If ever there were an opportunity to skip a Windows upgrade cycle, the XP-to-Vista transition is it. XP may be showing its age, but its age is mainly skin deep: The new challenger is flashy, but also slower and heavier, and it lacks a killer combination of compelling features needed to unseat XP.

At the end of the decade, when Microsoft's executives look back at the debacle that was Windows Vista, they'll see that simply slapping a fresh coat of paint on an otherwise aging Windows architecture wasn't enough to fool anybody.

Interesting. The world largest software company worked more than five years on a new operating system and all they accomplished is a fresh coat of paint. I wonder what all those Windows developers have been doing in these five years. This is as if Toyota came out with a new car after five years and the only thing that is really new about it is its color.

I am sorry, but in my view this is polemics. The fact that sentences like this are published in a magazine with an international reputation shows how far the Vista-baiting has gotten already. Such statements wouldn’t have been possible shortly after Vista has been released. Only now, since so many are drunk with Vista slapping, is this acceptable.

Kennedy can talk easily about a Vista debacle without having to support his claim. Everyone knows already that Vista is the biggest failure in the history of technology because this has been written so often elsewhere. Thus, evidence is not needed. However, I prefer to rely on scientific data in such matters. According to ChannelWeb, the IT research company Gartner, claimed that

...Vista adoption among businesses is in line with that of XP at a comparable juncture after its release, and predicted Vista will have an installed base of 21.3 percent by year's end, compared to 16.9 percent for XP in 2003.

We do not know if these numbers are precise, but one thing is for sure: If Vista is a debacle, then XP was one too. I have to say “sorry” to those who prefer to read technical articles in my blog, but this had to be said. It is important, because it seems to me that many who have to make the Vista-or-not decision are influenced by agitations in the media. It is an important decision to make and you have to keep a cool head. You have to evaluate all of Vista’s upsides and downsides to find out whether it makes sense to deploy Vista in your organization or not. Kennedy covered only a few features in his article and so did I in my blog series.

I recommend reading the Wikipedia articles about this topic. They are not biased, because many people with different attitudes have been working on them. The sheer length of those articles will make you realize that Vista has a little more to offer than just a fresh coat of paint. Here are the links:

Vista certainly also has many downsides. You might run into compatibility issues, your helpdesk will be flooded with questions by end users, and most importantly, you will have to invest a lot of time to digest all of Vista’s changes.

However, rest assured that you really will be left behind if you don’t spare this time. Skipping Vista doesn’t mean that you can escape the necessity of learning about all of those new things. Windows 7 will certainly not be Windows XP with the three or four killer features you have always been waiting for. No, Windows 7 will be Windows Vista plus a lot more compatibility issues, and many more new things to learn.

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It is a general rule in IT that skipping one technology generation doesn’t make things easier. The adoption process will even be harder, because you will have to fight with the enhancements of the skipped generation as well as the brand new ones. A slow and smooth transition always causes less turbulence than a rapid and abrupt one. This insight comes from chaos theory and we all know Windows administration is indeed pure chaos, right? 😉

7 Comments
  1. joe 14 years ago

    I have to agree. I am pretty much sick of the bandwagon garbage said about vista. We have started to deploy vista already (not done like some other people) and we have had pretty much no problems at all, had a few problems with some legacy software. It seems people are a bit uninformed.

    From an IT perspective having to develop methods to deploy OS’s I have found one aspect of vista/2008 to be VERY significant. That feature is when you sysprep a vista/2008 OS it makes a HAL-independent image. For those that don’t know what that means, it means that I no longer have to keep seperate images for each of the hardware platforms that I use. I can have one image for laptops, workstations, different models of workstations, etc. This is not only an huge administrative plus but also a very nice size savings on my storage (plus windows deployment services de-dups your images).

    If people would just let go of the negative hype vista gets I think they would find many benefits to deploying it. On another note, the only people that I know that don’t like vista haven’t tried it, or when they did they didn’t give it a chance and quickly went back to XP. Of course there are changes, of course it’s heavier. Most new software releases doesn’t remove features and doesn’t make the UI more ugly!

  2. Sue 14 years ago

    I agree also. I’m in the minority at my company, which decided, rather than supporting Vista, to go to an all Mac platform. Talk about a learning curve! Of course, I was an early Vista adopter.

  3. Michael Pietroforte 14 years ago

    Sue, oh well Macs are nice too, especially for small companies. I think it is okay that there is at least some competition on the desktop now. Let’s see how long Apple can hold out this time. They always have their ups and downs.

  4. Michael 14 years ago

    I disagree. Skipping a generation is easy in many fields of IT. Vista simply isn’t good enough and XP users who stick with it ’til 2014 will have no issues moving to Windows 7; perhaps that will actually be the revolution Microsoft SHOULD have delivered this time – instead of a bloated, MAC OS X copy. Hopefully, be that time, Linux/Google or whoever will have finally got a mainstream ready alternative OS ready to do to Windows what Firefox did to IE6 – force Microsoft to pull their fingers out and make something better!

  5. Gabe 14 years ago

    Windows Vista just LOOKS cool and fancy, but Windows XP USE TO look cool and fancy, but no longer. But Windows XP is so much faster, and so much easier to use.
    I actually prefer Windows XP

  6. Jack 14 years ago

    I can see no reason to buy a new hammer with a red handle to do the same stuff I can do with my old hammer I have been using for years.
    Do we really need a new system to write a memo, prepare a report or a presentation? And money spent on a new system and new hardware to run it can be used for other purposes (especially now).

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