Vista adoption pattern familiar

Various analysts’ reports of late have indicated a relatively slow uptake of Microsoft’s Vista operating system among enterprises. The findings are hardly surprising, given that we have been down this road before with Redmond OS releases of the past.

When we look back at the releases of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP and others, we see a similar pattern: organizations hold off on full-scale migrations for at least a few months and in many cases a year or two. The primary reason for such reluctance is that the old OS they previously rolled out was doing just fine, thank you very much.

Add to the task list associated with such an implementation the necessity of training staff members on the nuances, and it’s easy to see why OS replacements are carried out with some degree of trepidation. IT managers have also had to contend with the sheer number of hours their tech personnel must spend to make the changeover a reality.

The forces that drive an enterprise to upgrade its operating system environment are often less tangible than they are for other elements in a typical enterprise IT setup. When processing tasks get too weighty for a three- or four-year-old processor to handle inside a server, a desktop or a laptop computer, for example, business processes are impacted immediately and quite noticeably. Productivity is affected as workers take more time to do the same tasks. Similarly, when a piece of security software remains untouched and unimproved for a certain length of time, a resulting data breach can certainly drive home the need for speedier upgrades in the future.

Not so an OS. The bulkier new features can slow networks down, and productivity can take a hit as users adjust to the new features. A need to conform with partners’ and clients’ environments, and with other upgraded Microsoft elements running internally on its own network, are the main factors in forcing an enterprise into an OS upgrade.

And there’s no doubt this will be played out with Vista. The end result? It will be the OS enterprises will be loathe to give up when the next one arrives.

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