Well, it's been six months since the second biggest tech debut of the year, Windows Vista. (OK, five months and 12 days, for those of you who are counting). How's has it gone?
The good news: Security companies like Zone Alarm have, finally, shipped Vista compatible versions of their software. Hardware drivers are gradually rolling out.
Yet Microsoft still felt compelled to issue talking points that OEMs could use to convince customers not to wait for SP1 before taking the Vista plunge. And corporate customers have been clamoring for easier ways to downgrade from Vista to XP so loudly that Microsoft actually heard them and simplified the process (PDF file).
Cringester R. M. makes a compelling real-world case about the hassles small businesses must face before moving to Vista:
"1. Software Apps: Start your Y2K search-and-destroy efforts again to ensure all of your software is 32-bit compliant at minimum, and Vista compliant on top of it. This means your accounting software, DTP/editing packages, and all of the other 5-years old+ packages you are currently running need (at minimum) LICENSE UPGRADES, and more than likely a good number are too old even for that. For anyone still using DOS-based packages, well, you better hope a savy tech can get them to work in a virtual machine, but be prepared to shell out the bucks either way. I have seen many a small place still using DOS-based ledgers instead of being held hostage to M$ or Intuit every year.
2. Hardware: If you are a good corporate customer and turn over/lease your PCs in 3-year cycles, you will probably have fully compatible systems in about 18 months, give or take the budget cycle. Anyone else in the small business realm can stare into the headlights when they get the quote to replace all those slower, but fast-enough-for-the-job-they-do-now systems. Many places went bargain PC when XP came out, or they had to retire Win 98 - the ones that didn't die after the first year, or get taken out by surges, are money in the bank now at 4 to 5 years later, and many do the job they need to do. But most won't make the bar for Vista. Many two-year-old PCs might not make it.
Take these two main arguments, and you have the conclusion made by the techs at my workplace, where we run our back-end systems on Linux and VMWare, the office systems on Windows (and Netware) and support all of these systems in the field, but primarily Windows-based desktop environments: Vista is at least 18 months away for most small to mid-sized businesses to consider upgrading across the board without breaking the bank, or the business."
I'm convinced. How about you?