Gartner warns against Windows XP upgrade

Gartner has hit out at Microsoft saying there is not a compelling reason to update to Windows XP, Microsoft's new operating system scheduled for release on 25 October.

Phillip Sargeant, research director servers and storage at Gartner, does not believe Microsoft is offering anything worthwhile upgrading for at this stage and is suggesting that corporate users hold off on any plans they have to purchase the new operating system.

"I can't see any compelling reason to upgrade [to Windows XP] at this time. Reliability and stability are important to corporate users and that currently isn't there."

"During the initial take-up [of Windows XP] holes will be discovered, which is what always happens, and Microsoft will release patches. I advise corporate users to hold off until it stabilises to ensure reliability, which is very important to business users."

And the news is no more encouraging for home users.

Microsoft Australia Windows Product Manager Paul Roworth believes home users will be excited about the new product because of the digital media functionality available in photography, audio and video.

But that isn't enough reason for home users to upgrade, says Sargeant. "Home users are still on 56k modems, so some of the suave new tools such as video conferencing won't be able to be used until we receive better bandwidth in the home," explains Sargeant.

That being said, Sargeant expects many users of Windows 95/98 to upgrade as Windows XP will be more reliable but he doubts people using Windows 2000 Professional will be tempted to upgrade.

"It's doubtful that users that have already upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional will see a compelling reason to upgrade [to Windows XP] just yet," says Sargeant.

However, while Gartner thought it was too soon to comment on the projected take-up of Windows XP, IDC are predicting it will be the fasted-adopted version of Windows to date.

"IDC expects that Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional will see more new licence shipments by the end of 2002 than any other new Microsoft operating system has in the first full year of availabilty," said IDC analyst Al Gillen.

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Natalie Hambly

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