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Analysis: After a month, no rush to adopt Vista

Enterprises have been slow to move from XP

By Robert McMillan and Elizabeth Montalbano
December 28, 2006 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Windows Vista has been on the market for nearly a month now, but enterprise users and industry experts agree that Microsoft's latest operating system still isn't yet ready to replace XP.

The problem is not with the software itself -- by most accounts, Vista is technically solid -- but with myriad peripheral issues that Microsoft needs to address to take the pain out of using Vista.

Take patching, for example. On Dec. 12, Microsoft released an Internet Explorer 7 fix that improved the performance of the browser's phishing filter. The software had been bogged down by Web sites with a large number of frames, prompting user complaints.

Microsoft patched the problem for Windows XP and Server 2003 users, but not for Vista. That update will come after the consumer release of Vista hits the market some time in January, according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft's public relations agency. And although Microsoft is now issuing security patches for Vista, performance-related updates such as the phishing filter are being handled on a case-by-case basis, she said.

Microsoft won't say why it is holding off on some Vista patches even though the product is commercially available for business customers. But Russ Cooper, a senior information security analyst at Cybertrust, has a theory.

"I say Microsoft never intended anybody to run Vista prior to January," he said. "What works on Vista, beyond Office 2007?" he asked. "I'm going to Vista ... when my VPN supplier tells me that they have drivers that work, and when my anti-virus vendor tells me that they have non-beta versions that work."

Cooper brings up a good point: Application compatibility is another problem for Vista, and VPN (virtual private network) and antivirus software are among the applications at the top of the list that users say must work before they will move to Vista. Right now, the most popular software in those categories, as well as other mainstream applications many business customers use, won't be available for Vista until after the consumer version of the operating system is released on Jan. 30, 2007.

Some of the applications that still aren't compatible with Vista include IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes e-mail and collaboration suite; Cisco Systems Inc.'s and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.'s VPN clients; Intuit Corp.'s accounting software QuickBooks 2006 and earlier versions; and antivirus software from Trend Micro Inc.

Intuit even took time in mid-December to warn QuickBooks users in a note that they should hold off on upgrading to Vista until after the U.S. tax season ends in April, citing compatibility with older versions of its software and "potential reliability issues" with Vista.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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