Windows Vista may not be a mystery anymore, but most IT departments are finding plenty of application testing is required before they'll be able to deploy the software, according to research giant Gartner.
With the OS now over five months old in the business world, IT departments have had plenty of time to scope out Microsoft's latest offering.
However, the level of application compatibility testing needed for large organisations to migrate to Vista was responsible for many holding off, according to Gartner principle analyst Martin Gilliland.
"We believe that most companies will spend the 18 months immediately after Vista was delivered working on testing application compatibility, building system images, preparing training and performing pilot programmes... because such mainstream deployments will not start until 2008," Gilliland told a Gartner conference in Sydney this week.
Vista has been dogged by fears, in some cases proven, that many existing applications have to be re-written to operate on the new system.
Embarking on a long-term strategy for Vista adoption did not mean forgoing new technologies in the interim, however.
"Although Windows Vista has a large number of new features, many of these are currently available to XP users through add-ons or third-party tools," he said.
Another possible reason for the slow uptake of the new OS is that organisations would also have to factor in the acquisition of new PCs to run Vista, a practice Gilliland recommends.
"We don't believe corporate PCs purchased in 2005 or 2006 will ever run Windows Vista, although some in 2007 may eventually be upgraded," he said.
"It's not that they can't but, by the time companies start deploying Vista in production for mainstream users, most PCs bought in 2006 will be more than two years old and more than halfway through their useful life."
Migrating PCs with less than two years life remaining to Vista was not worth the hassle for most organisations, according to Gilliland.