Would You Back Your Business on Windows Vista?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

What if bricklayers worldwide all upgraded their trowels for more ergonomic versions with gold-plated handles, but they weren’t compatible with some brands of mortar and were slower to use? The economy would slow down further as the brickies couldn’t complete their work, or on time. Well this is analogous to what Windows Vista could bring, but maybe worse.

Windows is still the ubiquitous global desktop, and is the platform that enables many workers to do their job. If it isn’t fully compatible with business applications and slows down productivity, it is no wonder that businesses are turning against it. Vista is being improved, yes, and Microsoft will bounce back from this, no doubt. But right now is it sensible for IT leaders who influence the desktop to go with it as one of their primary business enablers?

This is the reality of the situation. OK what I say won’t be true in all organizations, or applications. But it is undeniable that Vista has caused a stir because it isn’t an upgrade from XP; from a pure business value perspective it is a downgrade. I wouldn’t put it on my PC at work.

However, I do have it at home. Yes, I do. It has some great consumer-oriented features. It looks better for a start. Instant Search works nicely, if a little slowly. I have a powerful machine so I can enjoy it. I like the sidebar, although I don’t prefer it any more or less than the Google Desktop equivalent. The DVD maker is a fantastic entry-level suite, so I use that quite often.

As a consumer, I like it.

But as a business user I’d steer clear of it at the moment, and maybe miss it out completely until Windows 7 appears. Even the security features in won’t persuade me, although the HDD encryption is a good solution by all accounts. The Address Space Layout Randomization looks to me as a neat innovation, and so does the Service Hardening. There is some neat stuff, but I can’t get over the fact it is bloated, slow and it has compatibility issues (that can be overcome, yes, but why should I bother?)

If I had to stake my professional reputation on it, I’d say it was too risky. There isn’t enough in it that I can’t get elsewhere and have a track record with (e.g. HDD Encryption.) Like the computer network, the Windows platform is so ingrained in the operation of my organization, and therefore underpins the ‘dial-tone ‘ of the business, I think it would be idiotic to risk disruption. Its predecessor’s success is its undoing.

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