Arthur Cole spoke with Rob Enderle, principal analyst, The Enderle Group.
Cole: In the run-up to the Vista launch, there was a lot of speculation as to the changes it would produce in computing environments. What do you see as the most significant Vista-related developments for enterprise users?
Enderle: Particularly with the 64-bit version, but for both versions, it changes the security model and protects users from the majority of threats we have seen so far this decade, even without a secondary AV product. Migrations are vastly easier, particularly for Vista-to-Vista migrations and can be done by the user or remotely. (Dell is rolling out a service to do this, for instance.) Finally, it addresses a number of performance bottlenecks in systems, potentially lengthening the useful life of compliant hardware.
Cole: What do you think we can expect from programs like AMD's Better by Design, which seeks to leverage multicore technology to meet Vista's requirements?
Enderle: One of the traditional problems in the Windows world has been the disconnect between the OS and the hardware it runs on. Programs like AMD's Better by Design get to the heart of this issue and provide, at a given level of technology, additional benefits associated with close hardware/software collaboration. These benefits range from higher price-performance to better reliability and longer service life. Multi-threaded applications have much promise, but they have been very difficult to do right. By linking the efforts, there is a higher probability the hardware can more effectively address the scale of performance required of it while minimizing the use of electricity. This will become increasingly important, particularly as we move to a higher concern with regard to the environment.
Cole: In the end, though, it's up to the applications developers to provide the tools people need to be more productive. In what ways can they leverage Vista to deliver value to end users?
Enderle: The best example of this, strangely enough, came from Yahoo and their redesign of their Messenger IM product. They used Vista to vastly simplify and enrich their offering so that users could more effectively multi-conference using text, voice and video. What they did showcases that this product can take tasks that were daunting and make them intuitive and non-threatening. It does require you to step back and think about what you can do first, as just porting something to Vista probably won't enjoy those same benefits. Vista provides the opportunity to make something good wonderful, but the effort isn't trivial and you have to be willing to think it through before making the change.