November 23, 2005 11:32 AM PST

Gartner paints a clearer Vista picture

Gartner Group has clarified its advice for when users should consider moving to Microsoft Vista, saying that organizations still running Windows 2000 should consider upgrading as soon as Vista ships.

Previously, Gartner had advised that "companies shouldn't rush to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista" and that "most firms could safely hold back until 2008."

A second research note has now been issued about the upcoming update to Windows, because--Gartner claimed--its recommendations had "been misinterpreted in some instances." While its original advice did not appear to change, Gartner is warning that anyone who wants to deploy Vista in 2008 needs to do plenty of preparation work.

"Deployments don't just happen overnight. It will take many organizations about 18 months from the time Windows Vista ships to test applications, get independent software vendors to support applications, build images and run pilots. Organizations that ignore Vista until 2008 will not be ready to deploy it until 2010," explained Gartner vice-president of research Mike Silver.

Silver added that "the new research note does not replace the original. We stand by our analysis of the features in Windows Vista. Further, we have not changed the advice or recommendation."

Gartner's advice on Vista deployment schedules only applies to those companies that wish to deploy the operating system by 2008.

In the original research note, titled "Ten reasons you should and shouldn't care about Microsoft's Windows Vista client," Gartner highlighted some of the weaknesses in Microsoft's platform strategy. The research pointed out that the majority of improvements in Vista will be security-related and most of this functionality "is available via third-party products today."

While Vista will feature "offer incremental, evolutionary improvements" over its predecessors, XP users should "pursue a strategy of managed diversity." The company recommended only bringing in Vista on new machines and not until 2008, allowing for time to prepare the ground.

The main problem areas are for users of Windows 2000, Gartner said. "Organizations running Windows 2000 absolutely need to be working on Windows Vista from the time Microsoft releases the product to manufacturing and should be talking to vendors of critical applications to discuss application support timelines before Windows Vista ships."

The main reason for haste, the analysts said, is that "several clients have already reported that the most recent versions of applications from several vendors are not supported on Windows 2000. Another milestone to be aware of is the end of Microsoft extended support, which will come in mid-2010".

This does not apply to XP users who "could wait a little longer to start deploying Windows Vista and can migrate as they buy new hardware, leaving older PCs running Windows XP in place until they are replaced (a slow roll vs the 'forklift' migrations Windows 2000 organizations need to do)".

Colin Barker reported for ZDNet UK.

14 comments

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Plan for change . . .
yea, dump MicroSoft. I did it almost twenty years ago.
Posted by rbannon (96 comments )
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It's very likely...
Microsoft called them and protested to some higher ups at Gartner, and they relented.
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
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That's what I was thinking
I mean really, there isn't anything ground breaking in Vista.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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They did not relent
The own a piece of Gartner. So Gartner opinion is biased.
Posted by mpinones (4 comments )
Link Flag
Really??
First, if you cannot trust your IT department which uses and supports your infrastructure, your orginization might have bigger issues...that aside;

Tell me, what programs of any significance do not work in 2k, but work in Vista?
Posted by (2 comments )
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I'll Tell You
>>Tell me, what programs of any significance do not work in 2k, but work in Vista?

Probably not any programs of significance, but plenty of companies rely of programs which are insignificant to the masses, but critical to them - and not all software vendors will go through the process of fully certifying thier products for a 6 year old OS.
Posted by cturkin (59 comments )
Link Flag
Sorry, MS.....
.... but I'm going to wait until it's clear that Vista actually does
useful things without being a major bomb. And even then,
someone is going to have to come up with compelling reasons why
XP won't run my software quite nicely for another five years. I'm not
really expecting that to happen....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
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Microsoft wil.....
....come up with a reason, by discontinuing support for XP.

Enjoy your forced upgrade!
Posted by (21 comments )
Link Flag
Performance could be a reason
Remember that XP is an OS produced *before* MS did it's huge security review. Windows Server 2003 came out after that review and despite the fact that it was "server tuned" I found 2003 to be a lot faster and more nimble on a laptop than XP. Vista will be the first desktop version incorporating those improvements.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
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One Small thing
One small thing, for Windows Vista, read the minimum hardware spec's required for full implementation of all it's features!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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WinFX?
Windows Presentation Fundation will be built in to Windows Vista. This allows the average HTML web desighner to create highly complex 3D graphic apps directly into their webpages by using just XML. This is very similar to Javascript, but XML is easier to ALLOT easier to use; also Javascript doesn't support 3D stuff yet I dont think.
You will be able to install something called WinFX into XP and 2000 to simuylate Windows Presentation Foundation but an upgrade is an upgrade I guess. Still, where's the Beef for all that monrey except some extra nice featurers here and there? Average Mmiddle-Classer might upgrade but the poorer probably wont especaially if it has higher system requirements.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
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Yeah sure
Anytime I see a company like Gartner backpedal, my first thought is someone got to them. This time is no different.

One thing the long, long, wait for longhorn did for our company is allow us to transition our critical apps to browser based applications.

Now if Vista turns out to be as big a virus magnet as its predecessors (and so far it looks like it is) we will be upgrading our W2K machines all right, but not to another version of Windows.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
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