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Windows Vista: Can You Skip It?

By Salvatore Salamone

April 23, 2008 | Those who have been putting off the move to Windows Vista are going to have to make a decision about what to do very soon.

After an earlier extension, Microsoft will no longer provide retailers and computer manufacturers with shrink-wrapped or OEM licenses for Windows XP after June 30. This despite the passionate pleas of ardent users who do not want to make the switch. For instance, as of April 16, 153,623 people had signed InfoWorld’s “Save XP” petition.

For many, the delay in migrating to Vista is fueled by concerns about potential problems when making the move. Some applications, particularly legacy and homegrown apps, may have compatibility problems with Vista. Driver support for lab equipment, printers, input devices, and other gadgets, while rapidly improving, still poses some challenges.

And then there is the cost and time required to perform the migration. Many older PCs must be replaced. And the process of inventorying applications, testing their compatibility, and packaging applications for installation on Vista PCs can consume many days, weeks, or months of an IT staff’s time.

For those trying to decide what to do, Bill Gates’ answer to a question during a speech before the Inter-American Development Bank earlier this month probably just complicated matters more. He indicated (or at least seemed to imply) that the next major version of Windows, dubbed Windows 7, would be available as soon as next year…much sooner than had been anticipated.

So do you migrate to Vista now or wait for Windows 7 and avoid Vista altogether?

A Forrester Research report, “Building the Business Case for Windows Vista,” published this month makes the case that companies should not skip Vista and that they should get migrating as soon as possible. 

Among the reasons Forrester and others give to make the move to Vista rather than wait for Windows 7 include the end of extended support and security patches for Windows XP, the lack of XP availability after June 30, and improved security and user enhancements in Vista.

Some believe the issues surrounding Vista open the door to move to Apple’s Mac OS X or Linux desktop systems.

What do you think? Have you migrated to Vista? Are you planning a migration? Will you wait for Windows 7? Will you switch to another client operating system? Drop me a note at and share your thoughts on the subject.



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