Gartner: Ignore Vista until 2008

Gartner: Ignore Vista until 2008

Summary: There is no compelling reason to rush into upgrading to the next version of Windows, says Gartner


Companies shouldn't rush to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista, according to analysts at Gartner, who believe most firms could safely hold back until 2008.

The majority of improvements in Vista will be security-related and most of this functionality "is available via third-party products today", Gartner claimed in a research note published on Friday.

While Vista will feature "offer incremental, evolutionary improvements" over its predecessors, XP users should "pursue a strategy of managed diversity" only bringing in Vista on new machines and not until 2008, the analysts recommend.

In its research note, Ten reasons you should and shouldn't care about Microsoft's Windows Vista client,  Gartner highlights some of the weaknesses in Microsoft's platform strategy.

Internet Explorer (IE) 7 will have many security improvements "to stem defections from IE to Firefox" and "has been accelerated" to be delivered in early 2006. But the "important ability to restrict some browser activities to a lower privileged process" will not be available because it requires Vista functionality," cautioned Gartner.

The analysts acknowledged that companies who use IE7 and Vista will have fewer points of weakness.

Also on the security issue, the Windows Vista personal firewall is better than the one included in XP Service Pack 2, Gartner acknowledged, and will, crucially, improve security on inbound and outbound traffic — a particular issue with laptops. But, the analysts say, users should already have "a more than capable" firewall on their laptops anyway.

[? /*CMS poll(20004007) */ ?]Another Vista feature that Microsoft is emphasising is its search capabilities. "Search is slow in Windows XP and files, email and calendar objects cannot be found with a single search." While Microsoft has tried to remedy this in Vista, "competent third-party desktop tools are already available" from companies like Google, Gartner pointed out.

Topic: Operating Systems


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • Ignore Vista completly. Thats my advice. Vista requires 1-2gig memory to run well. And do you want to upgrade all your computers in your office for several millions or just get the best free....Download SUSE now..and get everything you want and more.....
    Why wait to 2008 for next buggy M$ software eh...
  • Couldn't agree more. Vista is yet another NT version, XP with more patches on its patches. What a nightmare XP turned out to be when it was touted by MS as everything that they are now touting in Vista.

    Don't upgrade hardware, don't replace perfectly working systems. Replace the software that doesn't work. Dump Windows!
  • From those who have watched Windows users twist in the wind for years and daily use reliable, safe, functional Apple computers, this ever repeating cycle looks ludicrous.

    For the Windows user the best one can hope for is that this time Microsoft isn't lying, maybe Vista is really better. Every time you took this leap of faith in the past you were duped and at the next upgrade cycle Microsoft admits the last version was crap, when the new kludge is ready to be foisted on you and your money sucked up.

    If all goes well you will get a few features that may work some times with Microsoft only stuff and at a horrendous cost. Mac users watch in amazement as Windows users drool over features they have had for years and often a decade or more, that they have always taken for granted because the features have always worked unlike the newly duped who go through contortions and hours of fruitless toil and cost to in the end accept it's just another Microsoft lie. Vapourware is the single product Microsoft excels at.

    No Mac user has spyware, viruses, worms or back doors to worry them. Crap software and these malware plagues are simply not tolerated by Mac users. Windows users not only tolerate these huge costs and crap software implementations but seem to have pride in the level of torture they are willing to subject themselves to. Some perverted form of Stockholm syndrome or mass psychosis? Who knows but to those who have loved ones caught in this skewed reality it's truly disheartening and sad.

    Although Microsoft's lies about how good their stuff is, is now met with suspicion and derision by current users, the anti-Mac lies Microsoft minions spread are swallowed whole with nary an inkling of how stupid that is. Mac users constantly try to inform the Windows users of the truth about computing, once free from the grip of Microsoft. Some of the brightest are saved but 99% are unable to rise out of their stupor.

    This level of ignorance costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year. This is money companies and individuals could be using for good, but instead shovel it into the coffers of Microsoft the benevolent torturer.

    Everything you will be promised in the next iteration of Windows, five years after Vista, is available and actually works now in Apple's Mac OS-X. Windows as always is so far behind it's users are convinced they truly are first. And so the cycle repeats.

    Sites like this are never going to give you the straight truth. They also depend on Microsoft's obsolete operating system's kludge upon kludges bringing you back constantly, to find hope and solutions that never materialize. Perhaps today your mind is clear enough to start thinking for yourself? Buy a Mac and free yourself from the tyranny of Microsoft.
  • Yeah, because in all offices, the software they run, runs perfectly in SUSE, or any other *nix out there....

    Look...if you want to download porn in mom's basement, then any *nix is fine. You want to run a decent server, then any *nix is pretty good (I prefer BSD myself). But face it, for how your average user works, Windows is it for them. Don't give me any arguments about how free any *nix solution is, because retraining your entire workforce is very expensive.

    Besides, in 2008, 2 gigs of RAM isn't going to be enough to do anything at this rate. And MS will have something new by then anyway.

    Vista isn't just going to be a bunch of eye candy overlayed over an old OS...there are improvements coming. MS isn't going to sit back and let itself get overrun without one hell of a fight, and the users are going to benefit from the results.
  • One thing is for sure. Vista will look a lot prettier than mac os x. And that is more than enough reason to upgrade. Other reasons would be for example the fact that it supports pretty much any hardware ever made. Now that is something neither mac or *nix do not deliver. What else. Oh yeah that's right you can run pretty much all software known to man on it. Again something mac and *nix lack..
  • Here's what's funny. Win NT was originally designed by Dave Cutler with well separated security privileges, but Microsoft executives insisted they were too inconvenient and had overrides put in. Now, Microsoft is being put back by years because they have to figure out how to restore privilege separation and still have legacy software work. That's what happens when you ignore the engineers...
  • Make that 2010. Given Vista 1,2 and 3. Excluding the additional cost of other Microsoft products (not excluding Service Packs) that will lock-in to that if one is not carefull. Strange that Gartner missed that somehow.

    Fact is that Microsoft is usually running two to three years behind on less costing competitor offerings for those that cared to do their research.
  • Ignorance is bliss Windows Fan Boy!

    I'm sitting here running four operating systems simultaneously on my three year old Mac.

    Come the new year the only one running in emulation will run native.

    Your stuck sucking on viruses, worms, spyware and the most obsolete operating system on earth.

    Yes of course Microsoft will once again try to emulate the look of Mac OS-X so you can pretend you have a real operating system too. It works on Windows drones devoid of discernment every time.

    Gotta love the completely ignorant information that passes as fact in Windows land.
  • Any half trained office monkey can be trained to use open office and a good Linux distribution just as quickly as a typical windows upgrade.

    Go with Suse, or Mac. Anything but that putrid pile of rotting code from that criminal monopolist in Redmond
  • "One thing is for sure. Vista will look a lot prettier than mac os x. And that is more than enough reason to upgrade. Other reasons would be for example the fact that it supports pretty much any hardware ever made. Now that is something neither mac or *nix do not deliver. What else. Oh yeah that's right you can run pretty much all software known to man on it. Again something mac and *nix lack.."

    Rofl.. Vista doesn't look "prettier" than OSX- which is subjective anyway. An operating system should do what you need it to do and do it in a stable and reliable fashion. The way it looks being "reason enough" might be the most foolish thing I've ever heard. If that was the criteria Apple Lisa and the first Mac's would've stomped Windows- not to mention OS/2.

    There is plenty of hardware, by the way, that I have right here beside me that doesn't work in Windows XP so quit lying about "pretty much any hardware". In fact, I have far far better support for hardware in Linux for everything that I own.

    Each platform has it's own strengths and weaknesses. *nix's weakness is that common commercial apps aren't ported to it. Windows' weaknesses are too numerous to mention here. It's strenght is marketing, ubiquity, and familiarity.
  • Windows does not support most of the hardware ... Most of the hardware supports windows. There is a diffrence there. The only real advantage that windows has over any other operating system is the market share.

    As for Macs, they are junk. Anyone who brags about how great macs are, while completely ignoring the fact that Mac is an overpriced system runing a hand picked set of software on a hand picked set of hardware is in deep denial brought from the fact that they paid $3000 for a computer ("I paid $3000 for Mac therefore it must be amazing")
  • Vista isn't simply a super-patched version of XP, It's been practically written from scratch. While initial versions of Vista were based on XP, the developers realized that this constant system of patching just wouldn't work with what they wanted to do, and decided to base it instead off of Windows Server 2003, which had been written from the ground up for stability and security. This is one of the major reasons I'm looking forward to Vista.
  • Has Gartner used the beta for VIsta? the search "tool" is quite a bit better than google desktop search, or even spotlight(which was based off of an alpha of vista BTW) - you hit documents, all the documents on the computer come up. you choose filters, say stack by author, and folders are created - one houses all docs written by you, another all docs written by Microsoft, etc. when you are in explorer and you can sort by type, you can also stack by type, which does the same thing, only by file extension. neat as hell. The gadgets that will be on the vista sidebar and windows live are nice too.
  • Get SUSE instead of "upgrading" to Vista.
  • Joe S. -- you DO realize that NONE of the Windows versions are "rewritten from scratch"? Each new version starts off as the previous version, then they make changes to it.

    2003 was NOT "written from the ground up", it was simply a new branch of the NT codebase. Yes, they did many stability and security related changes in it. But they didn't start over by any means.

    In software engineering, you don't write each new version from scratch. That would introduce so many more bugs and incompatibilities. You start with something that's been worked on and tuned for years (development of NT started around 1989) and that has had countless bugs already worked out.

    I do agree with your main point, though; Vista isn't a super-patched version of XP. XP is NT 5.1, 2003 is NT 5.2, and Vista is NT 6.0. So you'd exepct it to have a lot of new and improved stuff, which it does. People who think it's just XP SP3 or XP with a new face are quite wrong.
  • Dump Windows ?? kidding right ?
  • I heard about Vista requiring a monitor with HDMI (with DRM encryption) to fully utilize the graphics, if you don't have the approved newer DRM HDMI connection then the graphics get dumbed down (is this still true, or internet hype ?) I started looking into Linux. I already have a Sony 24" CRT widescreen with 2 outputs and don't plan on getting an LCD for years. All the ones I've seen look like crap, unless you can spend 10k+ (no need to debate, at least with my eyes).
    I download the Live DVD Suse Linux 9, Live CD's from Ubuntu and Mepis and tried on my desktops and laptop and was very impressed with their compatability and ease of use.
    I'm happy with WinXP Pro on all my computers so far. If you know how to lock the security down you will not have problems. I think it's good advice for companies to wait until 2008 before they make the switch, unless they're buying new PC's. Many home computer users will probably be excited when they get Vista, and will continue to be. But, I think home users should only buy it if they buy a brand new computer and they should probably wait about 6 months after it's released to be safe. 95% chance I'll get a new laptop with Vista on it 6 months after it comes out.

    But, really looking forward to getting my feet wet with *nix soon.
  • What inspired the new GUI for Vista? Take a look around. MAC OSX, KDE, Gnome, Fluxbox, and Karamba Plugins. The first thing i thought to myself when I saw a screenshot was "Oh wow, Mac icons, *nix style toolbars, gnome looking file manager, with a karamba plugin. Give me about an hour and I'll have my desktop looking like that. And I can do it without a 1.2ghz processor.
  • I think that Vista will be to XP what ME was to 98SE: more eyecandy while functionality is not much increased (DRM anyone?).

    Currently I'm trying (and liking) the Debian-based (K)Ubuntu (free of charge, tons of software. See
    Yes, I installed both KDE and Gnome. Can't/won't choose right now.

    For games I still use XP but for the rest I use Linux. So for the next few decades I won't be needing Vista.
  • The HDMI requirement, AFAIK, is for digital screens/output only and then only for video. It is basically Macrovision for digital monitors...

    The problem here is, I have several thousand Euros worth of perfectly acceptable LCD monitors here that are working flawlessly, so why would I upgrade them to HDMI compliant models just to watch video? If Microsoft or the manufacturers will retrofit the monitors with HDMI for free, then I'll think about upgrading, otherwise the upgrades will have to wait until I need new monitors...

    That being said, I use SuSE for my main desktop now anyway, it is faster and, for me, easier to use than Windows. Installing was also a dream, insert the DVD and press a couple of buttons and 1.5 hours later it was fully patched and configured, the nVidia drivers were loaded, it recognised my sound card and lan card, set-up network printing to my JetDirect printers in a few seconds and had also included 2 productivity suites, several development IDE's, half a dozen IM clients, 5+ web browsers, and lots more.

    What did Windows make of the same hardware? It complained that there was no hard disk (S-ATA), had to go out and buy a floppy drive for my "legacy free" system, download the driver on my Linux system and copy the files to floppy, then it installed Windows, but it didn't recognise my video card (nVidia FX5900XT, so not something esoteric), it also didn't recognise my network adapter (Marvell Gigabit), so I couldn't even download the drivers, no sound either, evidently Creative Labs sound cards aren't supported by Windows either. So, back to Linux and download and burn a CD with nvidia, Marvell (and for good luck all the Asus drivers for the motherboard), creative labs drivers, HP drivers for the network printer etc. back to Windows and install, then I can start the patching process.

    The difference between SuSE install and Windows? SuSE 1.5 hours and 1 reboot, Windows 6 hours+ and over a dozen reboots, and that excludes any software other than Anti-virus and firewall...

    What really bugs me with Windows is the updating process, it downloads a library change, I need to reboot, the AV software updates itself, I need to reboot, a service is patched, I need to reboot. Under Linux, the library updates and is re-loaded, the AV service stops itself and restarts, the other services as well, might need to reboot if I update the kernel...

    Microsoft have a lot of catching up to do in terms of user friendliness and ease of use compared to most other operating systems on the market at the moment. Let's hope they have had an eye on the competition and can get their act together.

    Nothing I've seen in Vista previews so far has grabbaed me as a "must have" feature that will make me go out and upgrade. The spanky 3D desktop features look nice, but the desktop is slow enough at the moment without adding 3D to it, and, sorry, but isn't the OS and desktop supposed to be there hidden in the background to make it easier for me to use the applications that I need to do my job?

    If the desktop is so intrusive that I can marvell at its appearance and workings, then it is doing something seriously wrong! If it is just sitting passively in the background, passing me the information I need and allowing me to do my job quickly and easily, then it succeeded.

    If I switch instantly from app to app, that is good design, if the desktop goes through animations and rotating 3D interpretations of windows, then that is bad, might look pretty, but it is slow and reduces my productivity...