After I posted Vista Still Can't Compete with XP last week, reader Homiyar Sukhia wrote in with observations on the slowness of Vista on the boss's laptop and his preference -- make that strong preference -- for XP (or 98, but definitely not Vista). It's "true what everybody is saying," Sukhia says, and if you listen, you can almost hear the plaintive tone in the net admin's tone.
While it may be true what everybody is saying about Vista, now that SP1 is headed toward a public test next week, with performance enhancements the main focus, at least one analyst firm is giving enterprises a not-so-gentle shove toward implementation of the operating system. And when Gartner speaks, we must listen.
Here's the firm's advice at this point, according to News.com: Large enterprises that have put off implementing the OS must consider that they might reasonably expect XP to receive Microsoft support and security fixes for several more years, they should not expect their other software vendors to continue to support their software running on XP. That is, third-party vendors will phase out support for XP in favor of Vista. And if those same enterprises still think they can squeeze by and skip Vista in favor of Windows 7, the next OS due from Microsoft, they will find themselves up a creek. Windows 7 is scheduled for release in three years, but Gartner warns that the usual delays on OS projects from Microsoft mean it will be longer.
But wait, here's the firm's advice for smaller companies, according to the same News.com piece: Gartner VP Michael Silver says it, in fact, does make sense for the smaller guys to skip Vista because they don't have the in-house staff to support multiple OSs at once. Jumping over Vista entirely becomes the more efficient choice.
And if you're making the decision for a large enterprise that runs a large in-house development outfit, you'll also need to fall on the side of skipping Vista, Gartner says, because it makes more sense than trying to keep all those in-house programs running on multiple OSs.
Here's the thing, though: Third-party software vendors will support the versions that their customers are using. No reason not to. They're already doing it, XP is already working, customers are already satisfied. Ending support to encourage customers to transition to Vista would be slitting their own throats. Sorry, Gartner.