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?
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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:
- Features new to Windows Vista
- Security and safety features new to Windows Vista
- Technical features new to Windows Vista
- Management features new to Windows Vista
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? 😉