December 7, 2007 8:09 AM PST

Gartner: Large businesses shouldn't skip Vista

Gartner: Large businesses shouldn't skip Vista
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Planning to skip Windows Vista altogether, waiting for Microsoft's next operating system?

For some companies, it's a tempting option, but they need to consider it carefully, or they could end up feeling some pain down the line, according to analyst group Gartner.

Gartner said companies have "significantly delayed" the start of their Windows Vista migrations, with most planning to begin deployment in late 2008 or even 2009, making some think of skipping Vista altogether.

But Gartner research vice president Michael Silver has warned that the next version of Windows, code-named "Windows 7," may also suffer from the delays that dogged Vista and be just as difficult to adopt.

"Organizations that tried to skip Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP often had ISV (independent software vendor) support issues, and a difficult and rushed or forced migration. Organizations that try to skip Windows Vista are likely to undergo the same perils," the Gartner research warned.

For example, while Microsoft will support business versions of Windows for at least 10 years, and Windows XP is expected to be supported with security fixes until 2014, many software vendors won't support their products on Windows XP for that long, nor will they support new versions of their software on older operating systems.

For Windows XP, software suppliers will probably start dropping support in early 2010 and, by 2012, it will be common for software vendors not to support Windows XP for their new versions or applications.

Gartner also warned that, while Microsoft said it would deliver Windows 7 about three years after Vista shipped, "Microsoft's track record for shipping new versions of Windows is not good." The research firm pointed to the delays of both Windows 2000 and Vista.

If the next version of Windows--likely to be a fairly major release--ships late, then companies trying to skip Vista will end up running large numbers of Windows XP PCs longer than they would like, and are likely to be forced to adopt Windows 7 before their vendors all support it.

For companies struggling to build a business case for upgrading to Vista, the analyst house suggested bringing in the new operating system on new hardware only--which means it could take a three- or four-year hardware replacement cycle to eliminate an old operating system and bring in a new one.

But Gartner also said skipping Windows Vista might be the right decision for smaller organizations because they don't have the scale to support multiple operating systems on an ongoing basis, making a full-scale "forklift" migration project more efficient.

Gartner also advised that larger organizations with lots of in-house developed applications should consider forklift deployments, because their developers would be responsible for supporting all homegrown applications on multiple operating systems, which would "greatly increase application development costs."

Steve Ranger of reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Gartner Inc., migration, ISV, application development, research company


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XP Pro has everything for business needs
Microsoft has done itself a disservice by making a stable operating system that doesn't blue screen or crash every 2 hours.

No more reason to upgrade.

I'm sure they'll start a new program, "Windows Upgrade Path" - and start blasting XP machines with reminders to upgrade to Vista!!!!
Posted by basraw (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I admit it...
The biggest problem for Vista adoption, is that WinXP is way too good.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Link Flag
I Agree
I still use Windows 2000 for the same reason, very stable and very fast! The article was boring for the most part, I couldnt finish it. The software people will make software for whats popular that is all, like they have always done!
If XP stays mainstream I'd think most software will run on XP for along time if they want to sell it.
Posted by mlinder69-21063211865664677784 (36 comments )
Link Flag
Not So Sure!
"I'm sure they'll start a new program, "Windows Upgrade Path" - and start blasting XP machines with reminders to upgrade to Vista!!!! Take a look at "history" and at the current financial markets (mortgage/housing market) the Microsoft folks are going to tunnel/dig deep into those banking systems and guess what they are going to find - a sleeping 800lb Gorilla (OS/2 Warp) that aided the bankers to get the customers on the ropes; and, when the customers find out they are going to run to Microsoft for the same thing (Baby Gorilla) that was given to the banks by IBM and Microsoft. The difference now is that IBM appears to have all but abandoned the 800lb Gorilla.

"IBM, Bankers at Odds Over OS/2 Migration Path
Vendor advises OS/2 users to switch to Linux, but ATM makers are leading push to Windows"

<a class="jive-link-external" href=",10801,83884,00.html" target="_newWindow">,10801,83884,00.html</a>

Ask yourselves this question: What is in it for Microsoft for the "next five years" if they are already in the bank vault playing (holding key Source-Codes/genes) of the 800lb Gorilla! Come back in five years time and tell us how the "blasting of OS/2 and XP machines in the banking industry went.
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
No business case to upgrade
There has been nothing shown to the enterprise to justify
upgrading to Vista.

Increased security? It can be had in XP if people change a few
settings and buy (even from Microsoft!) the necessary software
they have for years.

Eye candy? Not compelling enough to launch an expensive
upgrade cycle in software and hardware.

Office 2007 runs in XP just dandy if you feel the need to go that
route. But again, for the average user, there is no need to

I think a lot of average IT folk just go along with MS's upgrade
path as a matter of rote and, often, job security. Build a
department, protect your budget, maintain your size, keep your

A smart CEO should be busting the chops of any CIO or IT
personnel that toe the MS line when it comes to due diligence
and IT deployment/expenditures.
Posted by ppgreat (1128 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I would say
there are few reasons. More GPO's, users not running as administrators on their boxes (can be done on XP but has problems), and way...WAY better image process built in. Which makes deployment way better.

Aero Basic will be the choice for most companies and it works and looks just fine.

Once 2008 server rolls there could be more reasonsl to move to Vista.
Posted by Maclover1 (440 comments )
Link Flag
Job Security
I believe that most IT depts. don?t care what they spend and most CEO's have no clue if what is recommend to them will really make them money or not. Things would be very different if the IT dept had to pony up some of the money out of their own paycheck!
Posted by mlinder69-21063211865664677784 (36 comments )
Link Flag
All our apps run within the browser!
We don't run any must have progams (other than word/excel/powerpoint) outside of the browser.

All our apps are within the browser.
Posted by basraw (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That is kind've scary. That means your line of business is completely controleld by the whims of Microsoft or Mozilla or whatever browser manufacturer you use. Who is to say some patch down the line won't impact your browser?

The same can be said for the Operating system, but I find that is much more of a stable platform than a browser...
Posted by mjm01010101 (126 comments )
Link Flag
Waiting for Windows 7 - A Silly Idea
First, you wait years for Windows 7.

Then, you wait another year or so for Windows 7 SP1.

And, you wait for Windows 7 applications.

And, as the article notes, while you are doing all this waiting, support for WinXP applications evaporates.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Skip Vista
Upgrade to Mac OSX 10.5. You can run MS Office and your legacy
apps in an XP partition at the same time as all the great Mac stuff.
Play's well with others.
Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
the solution to a problem
let's see, the problem is that keeping XP for too long isn't going to cut it because it will require maintenance of two different OS's. Per you, let's complicate things a thousand times by not only having two different OS's to maintain (i.e. X and XP) they should come from different vendors too! Great solution for a large business, like maybe a government office or an airline in bankruptcy that's for sure.

Oh yeah, nothing like "legacy partition" to get people excited. See why Mac's have zero business penetration maybe?
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
buy a more expensive (same hardware) box. So I can run OS I can run XP via Fusion or I can run the apps I really need?

That sounds like a plan....NOT.

There are no Mac apps I want to run. Itunes blows chunks, its a spread sheet for music. There is not one single Mac app I want to run.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
yes but macs crash and run slow as it is. try running vista or xp in it and performance would really go down the toilet. onetime on a macbook pro fresh install it took 15 minutes of lockedupedness for the widgets to pop up. my xp crashed and froze a lot but my vista has bean perfect. and you may say it's becuase I have a newer nicer pc but that is not the case. I have the same computer running vista that ran xp. all my old programs ran fine. one time user account control actually saved me from a remote attacker. I am so glad that I have vista. I tried to switch back to xp thinking it wopuld be great like everyone else but it caused extreme suffering. after using products from several other open and closed source companys I have decided to use all microsoft products and i am sooooooo much happier. I have recently upgraded from the apple icrap to zune. I have upgraded to vista. I have upgraded to ps2 to xbox then tobox to xbox360. I am waiting for microsoft to make a printer, a monitor, and peakers. Microsoft has bean very reliable. the people who complain about xbox 360 red ring of death are just experiancing problems because of misuse. it is very easy to misuse a product and usually you don't know you are doing it like in the wii strap problems.

ps: don't use openoffice. it keeps on ruining the formatting in ms word docs and it is full of bugs. corporations should really upgrade to ms vista and office 07 very soon to save the employees from junky technolegy.
Posted by lifelonglego (67 comments )
Link Flag
Xp support will ?evaporate? only after 7 is out
Windows xp support will ?evaporate??. By 2012?. Think before you speak. If you were a software development company looking at Vista adoption rate it would be a financial suicide not to include Xp support right now? And in a few years you mean to tell me software will support only vista while win 7 is still not out?. silly rabbits. Xp support will ?evaporate? only after 7 is out
Posted by fire115 (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, there's always security concerns...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by ppgreat (1128 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Skip or wait - a business must. not option.
Large businesses often have to weigh the cost of replacing many other programs or whole networks of equipment they use that works in XP and not in Vista.

A good example is a county government that has a radio equipment vendor whose network and equipment diagnostics and management software is not Vista compatible. Any radio system repairs and configuration adjustments can't be loaded onto a Vista OS machine. By the way the radio system is by one of the largest companies in the world.

But, this is not an isolated case, there are many, many other financial, testing and MIS programs that simply do not work in Vista.

Not only are big businesses and governments in this situation; my own personal home lighting and security system is not yet Vista compatible. It would cost about $8000 to convert over to a different brand. I believe that is a little much to put out for my own personal vanity of having a Vista machine.

The marketing engine will probably force the migration in the future and hopefully by then the software of my non-microsoft systems will have caught up to it. But, for now, both my county government and I will wait until our equipment vendor catches up or Microsoft is a little more compatible with other guy's things (particularily when it isn't a market they are into).
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bet the radio system is from the flying bat..
that is to say Motorola. Most government systems are. Have you found a problem yet with getting laptops with RS-232 ports to program the system 25 spec radios? I've had to buy mine from DOD suppliers.
Posted by willdryden (271 comments )
Link Flag
Typical Gartner Garbage
Why am I not surprised? Gartner group is recommending that companies should adopt a flailing version of windows for silly, poorly contructed reasons. Shocking.

The reference to the delay in adopting XP failed to remind people that the reason for the delay was that Pre-SP2 XP was terrible. That is almost always true of Windows versions and certainly is true of Vista.

Instead, why not spend the money corporations will waste on another windows upgrade on something useful like eliminating their applications that rely on the client OS for anything other than browser support?

Gartner group is simply another marketing agency for the huge software companies and should be ignored in same way we all ignore spam, home loan commercials and presidential debates.
Posted by jawallaby (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Typical Gartner Garbage.
Yep, what he said.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Link Flag
How the heck can you listen to Gartner?
They said Vista sucks now they telling businesses to install Vista.

We all know Windows 7 will be delayed. Name one product release on time?
Posted by Randall Lind (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How the heck can you listen to Gartner?
Because clueless companies have paid them large amounts of money for their opinions^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hreasoned analyses. And they seem to have convinced most of the "computer press" that they are relevant. Probably that comes down to money somehow as well.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Link Flag
Since No Else Said It Yet
If you've got to switch OS's anyway, take a look at Ubuntu. You might be surprised.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why go backwards
I think the point is not to go backwards like going to Ubuntu
Posted by wolivere (780 comments )
Link Flag
how much did Gartner
got from Microsoft for this. :) Vista is failure as they tried to mimic the coolness of Mac desktops. that's just one man say.
Posted by iprsvp (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Same story Every Single Windows Version
Hah, I remember people complaining about the requirements and looks of XP (toy-like). There were plenty of articles then about skipping XP and waiting for Longhorn. Now that Longhorn/Vista is here, it's time to skip it too:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah skip it..ANYTHING but Vista...
At my office we have XP boxes and Macs and one (thankfully)
Vista laptop. While it'd be so much easier if they were all Macs
(our Mac Mini server is approaching 6 months of problem-free
uninterrupted use), at least the XP boxes either totally work on
the network or inexplicably fail to work. The Vista laptop is a
maddening mess of intermittent failures, inability to back up to
the file server--but then it works again!, frequent and random
vanishing from the workgroup, lack of driver support for our
brand new HP printer!, and an utter impossibility to get anything
properly configured. It was so bad that after 6 months of pain,
when we needed to get a new laptop for our accountant for
Quickbooks, I told her "get ANYTHING but a Vista machine." At
least the Macs work and the XP boxes either work or they dont.
So, we ordered a XP dell notebook. Believe us, we would have
got another Mac and banished MS forever but there were specific
functions that only Quickbooks for Windows has that we need. If
skipping Vista is going to cause pain, so will using it. Then
comes Windows 7 and if, history is any guide, more pain.
Posted by johnh83--2008 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows 8
I'm skipping windows 7, Windows 98 fo' life! My AMD 333 mhz processor with 64mb of ram is all I need.
Posted by Boomer867 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
"For example, while Microsoft will support business versions of Windows..."
"For example, while Microsoft will support business versions of Windows for at least 10 years, and Windows XP is expected to be supported with security fixes until 2014, many software vendors won't support their products on Windows XP for that long, nor will they support new versions of their software on older operating systems."

Then I simply won't use those vendors. Vista has no compelling reason for me as an IT manager to upgrade. 2014 is a long time, and my network is stable currently.
Posted by mjm01010101 (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Easier said than done...
In the same vein that Gartner is out to lunch with their first assumption that enterprise software vendors will drop support for XP earlier than MS will, you are also making the assumption that your company can "just not continue" with that vendor.

There's some software (ERP software, for example) that you can't just swap out on a whim - there's often an implementation plan that can take years to create and execute when installing this type of software.
Posted by daftkey (136 comments )
Link Flag
But you wont
But you wont know until 2010 or so. So it will cost you money to change vendors, training and convert all your data if your vendors no longer support XP.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
Thin Clients
What Gartner fails to consider as well is that most "large" business applications where this is a real concern are not run on the workstations anyway - Enterprise software is almost exclusively run through a TS or Citrix session in any medium-to-large business environment.. It doesn't matter what OS the client is running, so long as the thin client can run on it (TS and Citrix both have up-to-date clients for Mac OSX as well as Windows 2000 through Vista, and Citrix has Linux clients as well)

The Presentation/Terminal server software is the real place where the Enterprise software vendors need to watch for compatibility, and they usually offer support for a few versions back (for example, you can still run Dynamics GP 10 on NT Server w/Terminal Services and SQL 2000)
Posted by daftkey (136 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vendors Will Support Whatever Their Customes Use
If Big Business Sticks with XP then vendors who try to only support Vista will lose business. In the end Vendors rely on their customers, more than their customers rely on them.
Posted by Renegade Knight (13748 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If customers demand XP support, they will get it. Vendors must please their customers... not microsoft.
Posted by real_bgiel (46 comments )
Link Flag
SP3 for XP
A lot of people I know at work/school have downgraded to XP, bought a new system with XP or are buying New MACs for the Holidays. This sounds like people are well aware of Vista's issues and don't want to buy a new system that will just be slowed down by Vista's poorly performace. Microsoft is well aware of people's dissaproval for Vista. I wouldn't be surprise if - in a sneaky way - they manage to make SP3 for XP unstable and buggy after a period of time so people will then consider upgrading. With all their conditions, difficult adoptions, lack of support, etc Microsoft is making itself a victim of its own practices forcing consumers to switch to less expensive alternatives. Hello, I am a Mac...
Posted by ubnyan (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great but MACs have zillions more security vulnerabilities.`
Great but MACs have zillions more security vulnerabilities and less OS functionality, far fewer supported devices and far fewer applications.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
don't dongrade to mac or xp
less expensive!? what th hell. a mac with a 17 inch monitor and the same specs as my compaq goes for $1500 and my vista pc runs much better. xp has way poorer performance on my pc than vista does. just so you know applications don't lock up in vista. I have all of the aero effects turned on, defender, antivirus, sidebar, special dock, firewall, and it all runs like a dream with fast startup and shutdown speeds on my 2.2 gigahert processor, 1gig ram, 256mb nvidia 6150 le graphics card. vista is much more stable than xp. my xp machine locked up all the time. and guess what. it is the same one that is running vista. I am so glad I said goodby to xp and freezing windows, slow performance, semi-formed windows, and security issues. the mac osx 10.5 firewall doesn't work and it is getting all of the old security issues. what people aren't aware of are all of macs issues. if you get a mac you should downgrade to tiger or upgrade to vista. onetime user account control saved me from a remote attack when my firewall and anti-virus were turned off for a software installation
Posted by lifelonglego (67 comments )
Link Flag
Windows 7??? Author has it wrong!!!
These shills that sell Microsoft products don't have a clue. Here's the scoop. By the time Win7 is released, Vista will be stable and worth buying. The smart customer is always one version BEHIND the manufacturer!
Posted by aquariumpro (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Oh btw
Did you see that performance benchmark between Vista and XP.

MS own office apps run much faster in XP than Vista.

Yep, you definitely downgraded buying Vista.
Posted by curtegg (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Smart Choices
#1 Stay with Windows XP until 2012 then switch to Vista as SP2/SP3 comes out. Buy only used machines with the XP COA on them for your business and skip new machines.


#2 Switch to Vista but buy only new machines with Vista already installed on them and swap out old machines for new. Buy newer versions of your business software that are Vista compatible. Run the free Virtual PC to run XP Pro in a Virtual Machine for legacy software that won't work in Vista.


#3 Use both XP and Vista machines, but custom design all your business software in Java so that no matter what platform your business goes to, as long as it has a Java runtime available for it, it can run your custom Java applications. So even if you use Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7.0, Mac OSX, OS/2 eComstation, Linux, or Solaris your Java programs will run under those systems. Switch from MS-Office to Open because it is mostly Java based and runs on all of those platforms.


#4 Switch every system to Linux, get a VMWare license for each Linux workstation to run a copy of XP under it for legacy applications, and use open source software or pay to have customized software written for your business. Run VmWare Server for access to XP and Vista systems, just make sure each workstation has at least 2G of RAM to run half of it for a virtual machine.

#5 Run a Linux System with VMWare Virtual Server, have both XP and Vista virtual machines on it. Every system your company has will have the VMWare Player on it to access the VMWare Server so it doesn't matter what OS your workstations run as long as they got the VMWare Server client on it. Make sure that each workstation has at least 2G of RAM on it, half used for the Virtual Machine.

#6 Run Windows 2003 Server with the Virtual PC server on it, and each Windows client has access to the Virtual PC Server images for XP and Vista systems. Make sure that each workstation has at least 2G of RAM on it, half used for the Virtual Machine.
Posted by Proustian (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Software Choices!
"#1 Stay with Windows XP until 2012 then switch to Vista as SP2/SP3 comes out. Buy only used machines with the XP COA on them for your business and skip new machines". Haven't you ever noticed the features of persons as they get older - they look more and more like their parents; therefore, how do you think XP would look in "2012" if it morphed out of OS/2!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
If Gartner Speaks.......?
I wonder how large Gartner's consulting contract was? From what I understand, favorable recommendations correspond to the amount of money one spends on their market analytics....
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why rush?
There is no reason, whatsoever, for any size business to migrate to Vista *right now*. Really. What is the rush? Why not let Vista mature, as it certainly will, to a point where its stability and compatibility will come close to parity with XP? Let new hardware evolve that can smoothly handle the new, unnecessarily bloated, OS.

There's an endless stream of articles that suspiciously look more like marketing rather than expert advise. Putting conspiracy theories aside, there's an argument to be made against waiting too long, or maybe skipping Vista. But, that must be analyzed on a case by case basis. These types of articles always seem to make blanket statements that could not possibly apply to all.

Here's something that hasn't been touched on: As businesses wait, more and more private consumers will gain experience with their own Vista PCs. Think of the cost savings if you didn't have to train several hundred employees to use an alien interface from scratch.

I see no compelling reason to switch today -- none. It's OK to wait -- but wait intelligently.
Posted by albertsoler (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vendor Support
Well, if the majority of users and business still have XP in 2010-2012, than it would be safe to assume software would still be developed for it. Face the facts, Vista Failed
Posted by srebelo (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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