Can 'cubicle envy' help the Vista upgrade cycle?

Can 'cubicle envy' help the Vista upgrade cycle?

Summary: While Microsoft tries to convince enterprises to upgrade to Vista with presentations about total cost of ownership, the real trigger for an upgrade cycle may come from employees a few rungs below the CIO. That's a major takeaway of a research note from Cowen & Co.

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TOPICS: Windows
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While Microsoft tries to convince enterprises to upgrade to Vista with presentations about total cost of ownership, the real trigger for an upgrade cycle may come from employees a few rungs below the CIO.

That's a major takeaway of a research note from Cowen & Co. examining the health of the tech sector in 2007. Cowen's analysts--Arnie Berman and Greg Niss, conclude that the technology sector has some significant hurdles in the first half of 2007--notably a slowing economy. To buck that trend the Vista upgrade cycle--a key factor in 2007 technology spending--needs to kick in sooner rather than later. And it may be influenced by employee demand.

"Despite CIO indifference/resistance, we believe the corporate adoption of Vista will eventually be aided by positive word of mouth among employees. There was no 'wow factor' associated with the release of Windows 98, NT 4.0, or XP. By contrast, we think Vista Aero graphics and file finding capabilities look so cool that it will create 'cubicle envy.' But any viral impact created by positive word-of-mouth will likely take many months to develop."

[poll id=20]

Bottom line: No CIO is going to upgrade until Microsoft delivers its first service pack in the second half of 2007. But Cowen's analysts may be on to something assuming Vista Aero graphics create enough of a wow factor. Vista isn't going to deliver huge productivity gains for corporate America, but "it will make your machine look cool," writes Cowen. In other words, cubicle envy could get Vista out of the gate strong in the second half of 2007.

Could Cowen's cubicle envy thesis stick? It's possible. After all, consumer electronics are increasingly influencing corporate technology departments. Who would think that the technology sector's health could be riding on nice graphics?

Topic: Windows

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22 comments
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  • Will there be an SP 1?

    When Mary Jo Foley looked into the issue, she obtained a statement from Microsoft saying that the company is not intending an SP 1 because fixes (and possibly features) can be distributed more easily and quickly by Windows Update. Which fits the point about quicker updates over the net made at the start of this Comment.

    Just a question about facts or Microsoft policy, anyway.
    Anton Philidor
    • That's not what Mary Jo said at all

      There will be a Vista SP1. The code changes that are being made to Windows to support Longhorn Server, are going to be released for Vista as SP1.

      The statement in Mary Jo's article was implying that the *importance* of service packs has decreased, since MS has an affective update architecture in place (Windows Update).
      PB_z
  • Pretty Please - he's got a coll graphics thingie...and I want one too

    Might be a problem in companies that don't have tight control over which computers get put on a desk. "But he's got a cool graphic thingie" has never been considered a business justification for upgrading hardware and software....

    People are going to have to be much more creative than that.

    I can see it for software developers who are working on code that other companies will buy, but outside of that XP is working just fine thanks.
    grillin_man
  • Vista as a Service; Great Opportunity for Someone

    Vista Graphics represents the error Microsoft made in not orienting the Operating System Product to multi-core multi-processors. Vista Graphics clearly demonstrates an expectation for Itanium. I speculate that Vista and Itanium and the HP identity fraud are all interrelated. We know from congressional investigations that HP had "earned" special discounts for Itanium from Intel; we also know Microsoft was involved. The heads of the Itanium projects at Microsoft and at Intel as well as at HP recently rolled.

    Vista is likely great on an Itanium PC and I would hope Xbox. But it is likely great on an Itanium Server.

    So lets see a child from the Novell/Microsoft marriage that involves running virtualized Vista desktops from an Itanium or other fast clocke Server. The graphics would be fast because the processing is done on a machine meant for that.
    mighetto
    • The graphics would be fast because the processing is done on a machine mean

      Most Server class machine do not provide graphics capabilities ???
      And most of the performance issues of Vista's Aero Glass is the Video card not the processor.
      mrlinux
  • Now this is just silly....

    Yeah, an office worker is gonna tell the CIO to spend a million on Vista upgrades.

    This is really reaching...
    BitTwiddler
    • Silly? Maybe not

      [i]Yeah, an office worker is gonna tell the CIO to spend a million on Vista upgrades.[/i]

      If that "office worker" is the CIO's bossy, you betcha.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Silly doesn't mean it won't happen

        A few points: Yes, these guys with the cubicle envy argument may be reaching. But stranger things have happened. Say the consumer happens to be some non-techie who happens to be the CIO's boss.

        Another thing to note: Consumer technology frequently finds its way to enterprise. Ex. Using iPods to train workers.

        Expectations are quite low for the Vista upgrade cycle so maybe some snazzy graphics will help. I was just presenting a semi-crazy idea that may actually play out. Should it play out (a bit doubtful) just remember you heard it hear first.

        Cheers,

        Larry
        Larry Dignan
  • Corp application testing will push this out to 18 months.

    In many if not most fortune 500 companies, the Desktop group/team must test the many corporate applications and clients to verify functionality under Vista. When you add in the new security software needed on vista workstations and the IE7 browser testing required (not to mention the reworking of the corp website to IE7 standards) I can make a convincing argument that Vista will be 18 months old before this envy can be placated. Since Win XP took about 12 months to really be picked up and the upgrade from Win2000 Pro was not quite as drastic (significantly more HW, security software upgd reqd, IE7 incompatibilities, WGA on Volume License installs) I think 18 months out is gonna be the point where you see some uptake on Vista.

    Ofcourse I could be talking out of my hat (if I had one).
    gigglypuff
  • Cool graphics Not = big corporate expenditures

    Any company that's dopey enough to lay out the money for upgrading to Vista based on the "wow" factor of the graphics must have money to burn. There will need to be bona fide technical advantages to Vista in order for corporations to buy into Vista. I'm willing to bet that home users will take the lead on Vista and will lead the corporate world in deployments for some time to come. There are far too many questions about app compatibility with Vista for corporations to run out and switch over. Pour on top of that the fact that Microsoft products are notoriously buggy right out of the gate, and that spells a long time for roll out.
    ejhonda
  • No it won't

    Most computer in corporate offices won't have the horsepower to sport all those new graphic features anyway. Most people in offices aren't going to see any of that fancy crap for a long time.
    DemonX
  • Can 'cubicle envy' help the Vista upgrade cycle?

    Of course, it can, but I doubt that it will.
    swoopee
  • When colleagues see my Vista system they want it

    I'm not a developer. I'm an office worker who is also a geek.I have been running Windows Vista off and on for eight months or so. Now I use it on my everyday system at work. When my co-workers see it they love it and want it. It's funny...the press is making a big deal out of the fancy UI stuff...gradients, transparancy etc. That's all nice but the biggest improvement for me is the deeply integrated serach. Need to find an application? Just enter part of the name and in the search box which appers immediately above the Start button. Need to find a file? Just type in part of the file name or some other tag associated with the file and you find it immediately. It's very simple and very cool.
    marksashton
    • You guy's just got that?

      [B]ust enter part of the name and in the search box which appers immediately above the Start button. Need to find a file? Just type in part of the file name or some other tag associated with the file and you find it immediately. It's very simple and very cool.[/B]

      We have had that and more in KDE for at least 2 years now!
      Linux User 147560
      • We have had that and more in KDE for at least 2 years now!

        And its been imported to Mac OS X a year ago!
        Graham Fluet
    • Same reaction

      ... different platform. They see my KDE desktop and want to know how to get theirs to be like mine when they grow up.

      Like the Rolling Stones put it, "You can't always get what you want."
      Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Get google search

      it is cheaper, and has almost zero bugs. and if you want the UI, there is an
      installation pacage for windows XP.
      Apple had that for over a year.
      And before that, Linux.
      Graham Fluet
  • I'd almost bet

    that the average home user isn't going to want to spring for the extra graphics bucks. The only people who are going to see this are the ones who would buy higher end graphics cards anyway. No one needs those cards or graphics capability to read email or write a letter.
    DemonX
    • What about HD content

      People who see HD programs want to have that same experience. I wouldn't underestimate the power of want vs. need. Who needs an MP3 player, who needs 7.1 surround, who needs to go to football games. No one, but they shell out the money to get what they want.
      THEE WOLF
  • Corporate workstation life-cycles will ...

    ... determine the rate of Vista adoption -- not the "wow" factor.

    Only the largest corporations will have enterprise agreements in place that will make upgrades on existing hardware free of additional licensing fees. Even in those environments though, most workstations are still equipped with 512MB or less. The cost of RAM, HD, and graphics upgrades makes the cost of Vista on older hardware prohibitive.

    Expect limited adoption on new hardware during 2007 but don't expect wide adoption before 2008, when only 2006 hardware will require upgrades.
    M Wagner