Please stick to at least a neutral tone when it comes to Vista, some Microsoft channel partners are saying this week. A CRN article yesterday reports that some partners are feeling the pressure of supporting and selling Vista to their customers against a backdrop of negative, or at least confusing, statements out of Redmond, such as Steve Ballmer's comment that Vista is "a work in progress."
But it seems that the bigger problem for these partners is the actions of manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, who all say they will offer "downgrades" to XP on certain systems beyond the June 30 cut-off date for the operating system. Ballmer was not necessarily saying anything shocking -- it's not news that Vista is a work in progress, but his every word is overly parsed for meaning. If the statement makes partners nervous, they shouldn't call more attention to it.
With these three computer makers easing the way back to XP for some customers, the bump that the release of Vista SP1 was expected to give to the struggling OS may flatten, no matter what comments Ballmer may let slip.