September 29, 2006 3:21 PM PDT

Microsoft: Fast start for Vista in businesses

Microsoft is predicting that Windows Vista will be adopted by companies at twice the speed as its predecessor, Windows XP.

Twelve months after the release of Vista, Microsoft expects that usage share of the oft-delayed operating system in businesses will be double that of XP a year after it shipped, said Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows product management at the software maker.

"Vista is built for businesses," Goldberg said. "We're giving businesses the tools they need to get out of the gate faster with Vista...Our goal is to have twice as fast deployment of Vista than for any other operating system."

Microsoft declined to give its own figures on Windows XP's usage percentages, and instead referred to research by IDC. According to the analyst company, XP was installed on about 10 percent of enterprise PCs after a year. That would put the goal for Vista at 20 percent.

"For them to do 20 percent in the first 12 months of availability is almost impossible," said Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC. "They have done all the right things, but adoption is going to be driven by corporate adoption and deployment cycles, more so than by whether Microsoft has greased the skids to make the product glide in faster."

IDC expects a healthy adoption of Vista, Gillen said. "But we're not expecting it to be fundamentally different from previous releases of Windows," he said. IDC's projections suggest that 11 percent of business PCs that run Windows will be running Vista at the end of next year, Gillen said.

Rival analyst company Gartner expects the installed base of Vista in large enterprises to be about 10 percent a year and a half after it ships. "We're not hearing companies say they're in a rush to get their users to Vista," said Gartner analyst Michael Silver.

Vista, the first major upgrade to Windows since XP shipped in late 2001, is slated to become available to businesses in November. Broad availability is scheduled for January.

Help and hindrance
Microsoft has said that corporate adoption of Windows XP was slower than it would have liked.

XP was slow to gain traction among enterprise customers, in part because it came on the heels of Windows 2000, Goldberg said. Additionally, Microsoft was late with tools to support its adoption. For example, a kit to test the compatibility of applications with XP was released nine months after the operating system, and documented deployment guidance took two years, he said.

With Vista, those tools, as well as people trained to help businesses move to the Windows update, will be available as soon as it ships or shortly thereafter, Goldberg said.

Furthermore, Vista should make it easier and cheaper for organizations to manage PCs that run the new operating system, Goldberg said. "Vista has business customers at the center of everything we've done," he said. "In some cases, it will be cheaper for an organization to upgrade to Vista than to keep their current configuration."

Microsoft has addressed many of the key adoption blockers, but that alone isn't enough, Silver said. A lot will hinge on the availability of third-party software that supports the update. "That's the biggest inhibitor to deploying a lot of Vista very soon after it ships," he said.

One Microsoft customer plans to upgrade to Vista at a pace even quicker than its maker predicts--but not for the sake of getting a new operating system. Instead, the operating system will come in as part of its upgrade cycle for computers.

"When we replace our PCs, they will run Vista, and we will replace a third of our PCs over the next year," said Thomas Smith, the manager of client services at a large Houston company.

Smith, who is responsible for about 9,000 PCs, doesn't buy Microsoft's argument that Vista is cheaper to run.

"It takes more hardware, the learning curve is costly, the help desk calls are going to escalate, we'll have to manage both XP and Vista, I think you're actually going to increase cost, at least in the short term," he said.

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Back in the early days ...
My fuzzy recollection is that back in 2001, Microsoft was pushing Win 2000 as their business client and XP as a consumer product. I can remember attending a couple of meetings where we were told specifically that XP was not considered an upgrade from 2000 - mostly because of security issues.

I suspect that corporate acceptance of Win 2000 in its first year was higher than XP in its first year.
Posted by roger.d.miller (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fuzzy memory
You're remembering Windows ME vs Windows 2000. ME was the last gasp of the old Windows on DOS combination which had exactly zero security while Windows 2000 was the renamed Windows NT 5.0 which was what resulted from MS taking the code from the portable OS/2 project back when MS and IBM split up over whether OS/2 or Windows was going to be the future.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Um - Yeah Right!
Why would any business buy Vista when XP is working fine now? Vista will only cause more headaches with compatibility issues.
Posted by daveworld (123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Because it does more.
Why would any business by xp when 2000 is working fine? Because it does more and it does it faster.
Posted by joerj11 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Any Windows License purchased is going to be a Vista license anyways
So here's the deal, if you want, you can buy Windows 2000 licenses right now. You pay for Windows XP and 'downgrade' it. So when your company next year buys some XP licenses, they're going to count in the 'Vista' count. Same with purchasing a PC, even though you're corporate standard is XP, your PC will have a CoA that says Vista on it, thus adding to the Vista count.

I'll believe the adoption rates once Netcraft actually registers the traffic.

Personally I've got too many cheap clients who will buy the $300 off lease PC with WinXP. It's cheap, it works, and spending the money for a license of an OS just for "features" they're not going to use isn't going to happen.
Posted by JTowner (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unrealistic Figures.
The only companies that will switch to Vista are those who can
afford it. Period. Most companies out there don't have the
machines to support Vista, let alone buy the software and find
the time to learn how to use it.

In fact it will be quite the opposite. Vista will sell, but not at the
unrealistic goals Microsoft proposes. It might sell well initially,
but as Vista reaches 2.0 and then Microsoft lags (which I predict
they will) again in development as they've done with 3.1, 98, ME,
and XP. People will eventually lose interest in Vista. Not to
mention the problems they'lll have with security which has
always been Microsoft's achilles heel. The interface and icons are
prettier than XP's fisher price toy look (with the exception of the
useless Gadget toolbar), but what's under the hood is no
different than XP.. which is a bastardized version of NT. Vista
really is just a minor upgrade from XP. A hint for all the clueless.

Microsoft's core people, Ballmer and his confidents really have
no true foresight & knowledge on how to move this industry
foward, other than reaping another supposed cash crop through
its misleading marketing campaigns and advertorials. Thats
actually the true hindrance for Microsoft in creating anything
seamless. Their investors need to rollout the pink slip list and I
think it should start from the very top.

I've used Vista for sometime and at its true core lies a sleeping-
angry-greedy-giant-bald-man waiting to spread havok and
chaos on the world's computers.

Ok maybe I went a little bit overboard with that assessment but I
do foresee very big usage and security issues.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If Vista does not default every new user to root level access,
security is going to be profoundly better on Vista than it is on XP.
People are going to be very excited about the very real gains they
will see in the security arena. There will still be plenty of social
engineering type viruses built for Vista, but the kinds that slip in
unnoticed using coding errors will be far less effective.

Of course if new users are automatically root users, then nothing
will change.
Posted by Mystigo (183 comments )
Link Flag
with all that vista includes...
The major selling point of Vista is its security and stability......but

If a company manages to miss a critical security flaw in a piece of software called IE 6 after continued release of monthly patches for 5 years, that in itself is a big achievement.
But if a company realizes the existence of security flaw in a software after 5 years, issues a patch, finds that it is causing more problems, reissues the patch (still having problems), re-reissues the patch (STILL HAVING PROBLEMS), re-re-reissues the patch just to solve a problem.......

The same company develops one of the most complex piece of software ever built on planet earth.
It is supposed to manage all computer resources and precious data.
It is obvious that it will be secure. (the extreme example is not the isolated one)

1. Windows XP went through 5 years of continuous patching and re-patching and is now believed stable enough to keep useful data on it. (Still not secure)
2. Vista is not built over XP, it is a system almost from scratch. So it does not exactly guarantee AT LEAST the level of stability that XP provides.
3. Most of the security issues of windows xp are not the problems of the core operating system itself but of the softwares like IE and WMP and office.
4. Vista goes ahead of XP by providing "useful" tools like Windows OneCare, RSS feed reader, a sidebar with optional plugins and many similar utilities which have excellent potential for providing better usability and/or stability and/or security (and even superior security issues with longer patch cycles)
5. If Vista really wants to be a secure OS, it should strip down each and every scrap of tool, utility, software that doesn't come under the core Operating System, concentrate on the core and provide all these utilities externally as optional installs. (all major companies already own a decent firewall, antivirus, antispyware, popup blocker, mail filter and other security tools rendering most of the security upgrades useless).

I'm not saying that they should not include those softwares at all, just that they should not be hardwired.
they may -
1. Put all these softwares in a folder called "add-ons" and provide a flashy utility in the core OS which would give easy access to user to install them.
2. Release a separate CD and sell them at a better price (199.99$ for core, 299.99$ for utilities, 1.99$ for logo sticker with serial key on it) with the compulsion that both CDs and logo have to be bought.

Microsoft already exercises near-monopoly status in OS market. When will they understand that these cheap attempts to lauch inferior products using their OS are only managing to attract more lawsuits and a shamefully long stream of patch cycles?
Posted by rahuldj (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Vista is not built from scratch
It is build on the shoddy XP/NT foundation.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
It's time for Open Source to step up.
I have not seen any build of Vista but I have no doubt that migration of current apps on XP will work on it - what I do have concerns about is security.

From what I understand the many security issues that affected XP, seperate from IE, have been addressed - which is great but considering that M$ is going to use Vista to help push its own security software - this is where the problem is.

The betas of M$ Defender have been terrible, even worse than NAV - my POV, any corporation that entrusts their IT Security to M$ OneCare, especially antivirus and anti-spyware, would be making a serious mistake.
Already Security software vendors are basically screaming they will not have products ready for Vista within 6 months after launch because of needed API access that M$ is delaying access to; existing XP security software will probably be incompatible with Vista's new security features - unlike the Win98 to Win2K to XP migration of security software, there appears to be no clear transition for third party security software for XP to Vista.

The numbers and resaons that M$ and IDC has stated of corporate adoption of Vista is definately just as exagerated and M$ reasons for supporting HD-DVD over Blu-Ray.

This is the time for software publishers to start seriously considering supporting Linux and to work with the Linux community to help creating a much more robust standarization of the OS regarding hardware drivers, XML/OpenDoc embedded item standard API, GUI specs, and security features.

It is time that IT again works with a stable independent OS environment, which can be easily customized by either vendor or corporate IT, using specialized software and module from software publishers independent of the OS manufacturer. I believe that this is not only a cheaper alternative to Vista it also give more options for corporate infrastructure in what direction they want to go and how to support it than to be stuck in the M$ mold.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VISTAPOCALYPSE NOW: Vista Will Implode Upon Release
Within hours of its release, hackers will tear into Vista to find hooks for stealing home users and businesses' bank account credentials. Billions will be lost within hours and Microsoft will call the publicity of the thefts "gross exaggerations by the company's infinite enemies in the press."

The scandals will completely devastate the release of Vista and most businesses will refuse to deploy Vista when their IT staffs tell them the new OS will only attract even more attacks than patched XP systems. MS will be reduced to issuing press releases about victorious deployments in "a bakery in Ottawa" and "a car wash in Sierra Leone" which the press will reveals were bought by MS a week before the software was installed.

Ballmer, always regarded as completely insane and emotionally immature, will disappear without a trace. Psychics will lead police to his final resting place, his station wagon, parked behind the Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Spokane where police will determine he had shot himself 9 times in the face, a story that will briefly provoke skeptical reactions from the press.
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista ME
Of course Vista will be hacked,kicked,punched,and taken apart.And that's just Microsoft testing itself.The problem for Vista,is the soooo long delay between it,and XP.Testing seems to have been eternal,and the constant drip of info,via beta releases,pics,and authorised web mouthpieces,seem to convince Redmond that Vista will achieve market success very quickly.I'm not so sure.XP has taken forever to bring up to "damn-it" standard,patches seem to melt away,following yet another bug fix,and third party code-makers seem to be beating "authority" at it's own game,by realeasing browser fillers quicker than others can sneeze.No,Vista is going to emerge to a fanfare of publicity,curiosity,and probably a lot of oops facter,followed by a flurry of angry emails.Me? I'm sticking with XP,till Service Pack 2 emerges.
Posted by Sabastopol (2 comments )
Link Flag
Your posts
were midly funny they are just g@y.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
I'm pretty sure I read this post pretty much word for word recently.
You might want to work on some new material ;-)
Posted by K.P.C. (227 comments )
Link Flag
The Web is the real deal
The Internet is the computing platform of the future. All you need is a browser to access weblications and services. That future favours Google and Yahoo.

The Web doesn't need a lot of maintenance. The services are piped on demand to any browser. No installations etc.

At that point Windows is but one, and might I add "very expensive" way to access the Internet.

Most will access the Net through mobile handhelds like Cellphones.

In that world, MS Office is a dead duck.

A small and mobile device, docking stations for your device, a browser on the device, and the services of Google and other Internet companies.

That is all you will need.

Vista is an expensive waste of crap that is only trying to emulate what you can already do on the Web with a browser like Firefox.

Lets see, on Vista you can write a doc, blog, play music, ... You can do that on the Web too.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about notebook users that can't necessarily be connected to the InterNetwork all of the time due to cost, speed and availability etc...
We're purchasing more and more notebooks over desktops at work and of the personal computer purchases that I know of, all have been notebooks.
It's a nice idea, although the thought of having advertising in my software makes me cringe. I think I'd rather pay not to have consumerism constantly rammed down my throat.
Posted by BazNZ (81 comments )
Link Flag
Not Very Likely
Vista may have better features, but I feel most business customers don't upgrade their OS until they are sure all of their applications work well on it.

I know of a customer who is still using MS-DOS with (I think) a Foxpro database that hasn't yet filled up a 5 MB hard drive.

Granted, that is an extreme case, but I don't see a compelling business reason to upgrade to Vista. Most of the features seem to be consumer-focused (i.e. different UI), and the other are promising but untested (security enhancements), and the resource requirements will be steeper than for XP.

I expect more Vista upgrades 2 years after its release.
Posted by bluemist9999 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wishful Thinking
Home markets? Maybe, maybe not.

Large Enterprises, SMBs?, For what it's worth, no CIO is going to touch Vista with a 'barge pole' for quite a while until a service pack arrives.

I worked for 6 years for a large org (5000+ employees) and they had even gotten started with XP--still on Windows 2000 Professional and for good reasons--legacy apps which don't run on XP.

Get it? OK, I hit oil, I'll stop drilling. ;)

Posted by _dietrich (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IT will say NO to Vista
Where I work, the IT department is already swamped with keeping up with day-to-day business demands. No way will they give themselves more work to do by upgrading everyone's OS unless there is a strong business reason to do so (read: unless the world will come to an end if they don't do it).

Likewise, the IT dept knows how our applications work and how they break. When someone runs into a problem, it's very likely they've seen it before and know what to do to fix it. With Vista, they'll most likely be scratching their heads when something doesn't work right and taking days to figure out what the problem is since it will be the first time they've seen it.

No one likes to look like they don't know what they are doing -- especially IT whose jobs depend on knowing what they are doing. Vista throws a wrench into all of that.
Posted by iBuzz (330 comments )
Link Flag
My company PCs not ready
I manage an all-windows platform organization. I would like to migrate to Vista but I'll have to wait for an hardware migration first. All PCs lack the hardware (graphics card on top of list) needed to get a smooth operation. It won't be acceptable for my users to slow down their work because of an OS upgrade. I don't think that will be possible before 2008.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Same Here
Well, maybe I don't "want" to migrate to Vista, but it's time for XP to go. Of the hundred+ computers I work with maybe 20 have a video card barely good enough for Vista. Some still have 256MB of Ram (like mine, oh and I have a 17" CRT monitor too). There's no way I would subject my company to Vista until SP1 anyways.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Dream on Redmond. It's not that easy...
Vista is a bloated Windows XP with less enhancements than obstacles. Those with smartcard logon are going to have to wait for their middleware providers to provide new middleware. AV and security software also has to catch up.
This is not to mention the ENORMOUS hardware requirements for Vista which means that the only systems that will have Vista on them here are those purchased with it.
We will probably wait for this codebase's new security flaws to shake out AND at least the first service pack. If Microsoft pulls a fast one and relasess a first service pack early then we will probably wait for the second service pack.
I see ABSOLUTELY no need for Vista at this time or anytime soon.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Of course, this is true...
Any company that got hit with Multi-million dollar "contract violations" with MS' new license scheme is going to be very anxious to upgrade.

For those that don't know... If you have an enterprise license (as of XP release), you basically promise MS that you will upgrade in a "MS-defined" reasonable period, or be tagged with fines.

My company is a slow adopter. When XP rolled out, over 60% of the company was still using NT workstation or 2000. MS fined my company for almost 10-12 million for "out of license" products. Let me tell you, after that I have NEVER seen the "motivation" to upgrade all the PCs to XP. A migration path to Vista was also created.

Afterall, is it worth a few million to hold on to an old OS. Or would you rather just blindly upgrade and sue MS if anything goes wrong?
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yeah I know, we're getting hit with them too. so luckily we're looking at replacing the machines that would have upped the price, and moving them to Linux, so our bill should remain the same. The onething is, I thought when you bought something it was yours... Guess that doesn't apply here.
Posted by jggpc (8 comments )
Link Flag
Fined 10-12 million for "out of license" products..?!?!
If that was my company I'd look MS square in the eye and say, Ok
fine us then but when the contract's finished, so are we..!!
A company today doesn't need a "Gamer's" OS to compete in the
business world, alternatives such as Linux have all the tools needed
to conduct normal day-to-day business in the work place.
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
Link Flag
More CNUT / M$ Propaganda
How much did M$ pay CNUT for this promo piece?
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IMO, MS is dreaming
1. Most business computers in use today can't run Vista.

2. Most I.T. departments know it would be foolhardy to deploy Vista until (at least) Vista SP1 is released.

What, if anything, does Vista bring to the table for businesses? Almost every XP security problem announced in the past six months has also affected Vista, and the potential of it breaking a lot of existing commercial and custom apps appears high.

I think Silver is probably correct.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
possibly, but....
You may be right... I personally disagree about SP1, but that remains to be seen.

However, your point #1:
<,1. Most business computers in use today can't run Vista>>

is fairly irrelevent. Most businesses are leasing machines, and a migration means a new PC. Very few companies actually "upgrade" existing hardware when it is so cheap and easy to call up the supplier and say "we need to move out 500 PCs and bring in 500 new ones."

With all the focus MS has placed on business adoption, it will be interesting to watch the actual rate of adoption. Clearly, they have more tools in place than they did when XP was released.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
MS's dream is overly optimistic..!
Our company didn't upgrade to Win 2000 until XP was first released
and the computer in my office didn't move up to XP until less then
a year ago (2 months ago I just got the latest version of Office).
Knowing my company (and the marginally powered pc I'm supplied
with) I SERIOUSLY doubt MS's overly optimistic outlook will
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
Link Flag
Use Linux
I see no reason in continuing to use Windows (other then for games) the original Linux release by

I use Xbox, so no need for Games at all to use on a PC.

Really crappy OS.

i LOVE my Linux and Mac OS X, and would never settle for a OS that's pushed down your throat.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Link Flag
The same thing they said about XP
1. Its the same thing they said about XP.

2. Its the same thing they said about XP.

Even if your logic makes sense that doesn't mean most businesses are going to use that logic.
Posted by Akiba (220 comments )
Link Flag
Just now going to XP
The Fortune-100 I work for is just now migrating from 2000 to XP.
I think it will be years before they even consider Vista.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My office too
My employer, a government health department, is only now making the transition from Windows 2000 to XP. According to our IT dept, they're saying Vista will make a mess of things. As much as I would like to try it out at work, it will probabily be years...
Posted by JoeCrow (83 comments )
Link Flag
Frustrating, but true...
I too work for a global insurance giant. Only because of a recent change to some Image & Workflow software have they now decided to upgrade the standard Pentium III hardware to current kit.
As a side benefit, because it can now be considered as 'thoroughly tried & tested,' we will all be upgrading to XP SP2.
(Apparently, we still have to endure v5 of Lotus Notes, v5 of Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office 2000! - Why? Because they still do the job, of course...) DAMN.
Posted by MamapapaXP (2 comments )
Link Flag

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