Universities consider Vista

Everything from cautious department heads to bugs in the OS will affect universities' speed of deployment.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

How quickly will universities and colleges adopt Vista? If they're anything like the larger enterprise world, adoption will be slow but pervasive. Microsoft has said that the new OS will be ready for enterprises by the end of the month. According to News.com, a CDW survey found that 86 percent of IT decision makers planned to implement it but only 20 percent plan to do so in the next year.

At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, IT worker Gary Knigge predicted the rollout would depend on numerous factors, largely including how buggy the initial release turns out to be and how quickly Vista-specific applications become available.

Knigge said that he is in the process of coming up with a rollout strategy for the PCs his department manages. There are a number of considerations on his list, ranging from security to how buggy the operating system proves to be, to when there are people using Vista at home demanding they get to use it at work, too.

"Eventually, there will certainly be key business applications that require Vista," said Knigge, who serves as the college's main software consultant. "These will force the most conservative of IT managers to move to the new operating system."

Knigge said he would expect to start the first Vista installations in May or July of next year, but said that any "technical problems could delay this significantly."

Within a year from the first deployments, Knigge said he would hope to have all Vista-capable machines running the operating system. Completely moving off XP will require as much as three years as the school buys new machines to replace older machines that can't run the new Windows.

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