Monday, November 5, 2007

The truth about Windows Vista adoption

I read a great article this morning in Jason Hiner's Tech Sanity Check on Tech Republic about Windows Vista adoption in business. I have long been wondering how Microsoft could be claiming that Vista sales are brisk. I am not seeing that in my own experience as an IT Manager of an SMB - Small to Medium Business. The article points out three areas in which Windows Vista sales are flourishing but concludes as I do from my own personal experience that Vista is not being deployed in the corporate environment in big numbers yet.

First there are the laptop sales, 95% of which come preloaded with some flavor of Windows Vista. The PC Industry on the whole is experiencing a 10% increase in computer sales over last year and a large part of those are laptops. Laptops, more appropriately called notebook computers account for more than 55% of all new hardware sales these days.

So the largest part of those Vista sales Microsoft is claiming come from all those laptops. I have seen that in my own experience as more users ask me to work on their personal laptops, which are running Vista. Yes, I still work on employee computers - can't seem to get away from it. If they connect to my network via a VPN I have a vested interest to make sure they are secure.

The next big chunk of Vista sales come from upgrades. Every early adopter of Vista I know has upgraded from the Home Basic version to the Home Premium or Ultimate, or better yet to Vista Business, usually at my urging. That's a no-brainer. But Microsoft's claim of high sales of Vista into Corporate America has long been surprising to me until now.

It appears that many large enterprises are renewing their corporate licensing agreements which includes provisions for future upgrades of the desktop OS to Vista. In other words, they are buying Vista on paper but not actually deploying it this year or maybe not even planning to do so next year. Like me, many have concluded to roll out Vista only when they have to due to either an inability to purchase XP or due to the unavailability of XP support from Microsoft.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I just don't see what business benefits Windows Vista brings to our network. In fact, to me, the new security features are a hindrance to implementing the OS. I hate having to answer yes five times when I want to install a piece of software. Like Jason points out in the article, Microsoft has simply tried to transfer culpability to users for letting malware into a system. Why introduce another level of complexity for security?

Conclusion: We will not be rolling out Vista in the workplace until probably 2009 when most of our desktops are due for a normal tech refresh.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Tim - Glad you liked the article and it's always good to see additional confirmation from the field that these perceptions are correct.

Best regards, Jason