Monday, December 3, 2007

“No Vista, please!”

Microsoft’s Vista version of its Windows operating systems is having a hard time getting traction, as many corporate users are waiting to find out a reason why they should replace their PCs running Windows XP. According to one survey, only 13 percent of businesses have adopted Vista.

Microsoft has released its first service pack update for the Vista version of its Windows operating system, but according to neutral lab testing, Vista is still twice as slow as the most up-to-date version of Windows XP. Vista retail sales are over 50 percent lower than sales of XP.

Microsoft is also having a hard time convincing IT departments that the hassle of training users on a whole new interface and supported a new set of problems (including file incompatibility) is worth the effort. As a result, many companies are still buying replacement computers that still feature XP, and Microsoft has been forced to set back the eventual phase-out of XP until next summer.

In the printer world, that slowdown affects the urgency to support Microsoft’s new XPS printing protocol. So far, only Xerox and Konica Minolta, as far as we can tell, have announced XPS-capable printers. Sharp has announced that it is working with a third party to support it.

Even more pressing is the problem of drivers on existing printers. Most printers and copiers need installation of a new driver to work with Vista. But for older models, most vendors aren’t bothering with an upgrade. So a perfectly good printer from two years ago that worked fine with all your XP machines might not be able to function in a Vista environment.

One article quotes a Microsoft vice president as saying “Frankly, the world wasn't 100 percent ready for Windows Vista.” Instead it’s clear that Vista is still not 100 percent ready for the world, even after a long-awaited service pack update.

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