Don't skip Vista, Forrester study says

Migrations should start sooner rather than later, research firm says

Companies should think twice about skipping Windows Vista and should get started sooner rather than later on updating their client desktops to the latest Microsoft operating system, according to an independent report issued by Forrester Research.

The report, "Building the Business Case for Windows Vista," says there are a number of reasons to upgrade now, even if avoiding Vista to wait for Windows 7 may seem like a viable option. The company has issued a second report, "Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of Windows Vista," to show how some users have handled migrations.

Forrester lays out five reasons companies should begin upgrading soon, including the fact that there are few viable alternatives, given the depth of Windows penetration in the enterprise. The research firm says its hardware surveys show Windows is the operating system found on 99 per cent of PCs in North America and Europe. In addition, Windows is the operating system on 97 per cent of PCs in small businesses, Forrester says.

Benjamin Gray, author of the report, notes that while Apple's Mac OS and Linux are enjoying renewed visibility, switching thousands of users from Windows to another platform is not a workable solution for the majority of companies. In addition, users need to stay current on Microsoft and independent-software-vendor (ISV) support of Windows operating systems, he says.

Forrester notes the expiration milestones for extended support and security patches on Windows 2000 and XP, and the fact that Windows 7 isn't expected to ship until 2010 at the earliest, as reasons users should keep their desktop operating system fresh.

Two other reasons for a prompt migration to Vista are the probable unavailability of Windows XP after June 30, 2008, and uncertainty around Windows 7. Microsoft has extended the deadline once for XP already, and Forrester predicts it will not happen again. In addition, the report says uncertainty around the availability and feature set of Windows 7 is a red flag for those looking to skip Vista.

Finally, the report says that Vista has valuable features and functions, such as security and user enhancements, citing the opinions of early adopters Forrester surveyed. The firm says these early adopters also reported on their overall migration experience, confirming that compatibility issues are still their No. 1 headache. Nevertheless, they reported they found workarounds for most of their issues, according to the survey.

Forrester recommends that users tie upgrades to PC refresh cycles, make sure desktops have 2GB of memory and limit upgrades to PCs that are less than 18 months old. Companies also should use the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tools, which are free from Microsoft, and use stopgap measures, such as client and application virtualization, in the short term. They also should press their ISVs for Vista compatibility.

The report noted that early adopters relied heavily on Microsoft's free Application Compatibility Toolkit and their existing client-management suites to discover Vista compatibility issues.

Forrester also recommended reworking software developed in-house to align with Vista and to carefully configure Vista's User Account Control feature to avoid user issues.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?