Gartner: Ignore Vista until 2008

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.