Vista launch starts upgrade clock ticking

The day has finally arived - what are businesses doing about it?

Moses crossing the desert. The Red Sox breaking the curse of the Bambino. Microsoft getting shrink-wrap around a Vista box. All involved more than their share of blood, sweat, toil, and tears. But for the folks out in Redmond, Washington, the day has finally arrived: Vista is shipping to consumers Jan. 30.

Vista has been available to enterprises since November, but many small and midsize companies have been waiting for the January launch, as well as firms that aren't part of Microsoft's Software Assurance program, a prerequisite for the November download. Microsoft has high hopes that the Tuesday release will kick off an upgrade frenzy among consumers and enterprises.

"Vista is not just feature rich, but highly reliable as soon as it ships out the door," said Brad Goldberg, Microsoft's general manager for the Windows client. "With XP, we were in double-digit adoption rates two years after the OS shipped. With Vista, we expect much faster adoption rates."

Business owners are less certain. Some, including John Nabholz, an IT exec at a 350-person company, is hoping to move to Vista by summer 2007, citing remote access performance boosts as his reason for migration. But Richard Feldman, an IT manager at OWOL Consulting, said there's no way he's moving to Vista right away.

"We purchased 250 desktops in 2004 and they run XP just fine," Feldman said. "But they don't have enough memory, CPU, or video to run Vista."

Microsoft says most PCs purchased within the past two years should be able to run Vista. But Redmond is also being careful not to spook customers. This week, it said it would offer extended support for XP Home and Media Center Editions through 2014, matching the support term for XP Professional.

But that hasn't stopped Microsoft and other companies in the upgrade food chain from promoting upgrades as soon as humanly possible.

Intel spokesman Greg Bryant, vice president of the Business Client Group, for example, flat out recommends new hardware for Vista, citing specific improvements in its new embedded graphics subsystems, allowing new notebooks, especially value-class machines, to run Vista's full graphic experience. Intel's new Core 2 Duo CPUs also contain specific improvements for Vista and Office 2007, with Intel citing an increase of as much as 300 percent in the speed of an Excel calculation.

But even with pressure coming from both Microsoft and its hardware partners to purchase new Vista infrastructure in 2007, most Microsoft customers are moving at their own pace.

The desktop security company Bit9 said that a survey it sponsored of 137 IT professionals suggests that 68 percent will wait six months to one year to upgrade to Vista. The main obstacles are fears of hardware and software incompatibility, the company said.

"It's about software, really ... everything else is just hype," said Paul Lindo, CIO of FB2. "Once our mission-critical software can run on Vista reliably, we'll start to move. Hardware costs are hardware costs. Moving before the software is safe, though, is suicide. No matter what kinds of performance boosts you can get."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oliver Rist

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?