To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade?

Research firm Gartner is telling corporate folks to wait until 2008 to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista, Microsoft’s new version of Windows that will be available in 2006. According to Gartner: Ignore Vista until 2008 by Colin Barker of CNET News.com:

The majority of improvements in Vista, the update scheduled to arrive in 2006, will be security-related and most of this functionality “is available via third-party products today,” Gartner analysts said in a research note published on Friday.

While Vista will “offer incremental, evolutionary improvements” over its predecessors, Windows XP users should “pursue a strategy of managed diversity,” the analysts recommended.

Microsoft likes to point out that it is providing for its customer base by bringing out Internet Explorer 7 earlier than Vista, but the fact is that IE 7 will offer even better security features linked into Vista. The Vista firewall is also much more secure than Windows XP with the XP Service Pack 2.

So Windows XP users are going to feel the heat to upgrade to Vista. Microsoft will probably abandon Windows XP security to third parties at some point — leaving others to clean up its mess.

I think you should wait until hell freezes over. If it’s “managed diversity” you want, consider jumping ship to Linux or Macs (or both). Consider this comment to the above story, by Kirk Kirpatrick:

I am the CEO of a techinical company that uses Windows, Linux, and Macs. While the Macs outnumber the Dells about 5 to 1, the amount of support is 7 times greater (money wise) for the Dells. Downtime ratio is infinite since we have no downtime on the Macs in four years.

Mac OS X Tiger already provides more than Vista promises. When the Intel Macs are released, one will have access to Windows when one is forced to drop into it, but the user will live in Mac OS X, a reliable, easy to use OS that is more powerful now than Vista will be when released.

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