Microsoft's new Visita OS -- expected to ship mid-2006 -- was recently reviewed by the Gartner group. The original document is available at Gartners' website for $95... unfortunately, I'll have to reference comments from others concerning it, instead of comments directly from it. The Windows Vista beta was released in July, and as beta software, it should not be judged for functionality or performance.
Analyst Michael Silver said in his report that "users may not find them [Vista's features] compelling enough to upgrade." He continued to say that that Vista would offer "incremental, evolutionary improvements" over Windows XP and 2000.
Microsoft in a statement felt that the report was "balanced". Microsoft felt that the report was balanced and "includes the 10 reasons why you should care about Windows Vista, which captures many of the innovated features in the operating system."
Did I read that properly? Users might not find the features compelling enough to upgrade, yet they are innovative? Hmm.
I am also wondering about the hardware requirements, and how that upgrade cost is going to filter into the equation. As a computer consultant, I have worked with one company that in 2005 had 200 MHz computers still in active service, and they were removing them, with the minimal desktop of 400 MHz. Another location that I worked at would replace the computers every three years -- and inside a company with over 1500 desktops, that 500 computer swaps a year! EXPENSIVE!
My single Windows desktop at my house is a Windows 2000 box @ 500 MHz, and it does everything that I need a windows box to do. I have to wonder when companies are going to take a serious look at their installed hardware and software base, and notice that things are working the way they are... and start wondering why they need to upgrade. Is it worth the new training that will be required? Will the new print drivers work? Do we need to push new policies?
In the corporate environment, it is not cheap to migrate. Granted, it is not cheap to remain exposed to problems, but "newer, bigger, faster" can lead to problems.