Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vista SP1: Microsoft says 'Wow!' - I say 'Why?'

I was intrigued this quote from Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President for Windows Client Product Management at Microsoft.

"If I ran an IT organization, I would first test and remediate my applications on Windows Vista. Then I would make sure that all new machines had 2 GB of RAM and run Windows Vista Enterprise Service Pack 1. For existing machines, with modern processors and less than 2 GB of RAM, I would consider upgrading the memory, BIOS and drivers, and then loading Windows Vista Enterprise SP1."

Remediate? Dictionary.com defines remediate as 'The act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency' or to 'set straight or right'. I think Mike has a problem with reality here. My applications don't need remediation - they work just fine on Windows XP just like they were designed to do. The software which needs remediation is his new-fangled, backward-incompatible, memory-hogging operating system which doesn't do the most important job I require from it - namely, running my existing applications.

Then we get on to the issue of upgrading my computers. If I am a SMB with (say) forty computers I would guess at least 80% of them would need a memory upgrade by Mike's logic. But even if all of those computers had available memory slots and my IT person was currently sitting around doing with nothing else to do for a week, I still don't understand the business benefit in getting them to pack more ram into the PCs and migrate all of the boxes to Vista. I know Vista does lots of things that XP doesn't do, but that kind of thinking could be extended to show that I should trade in my family car on a semi-trailer or an Abrahms Battle Tank simply because those two items can do more things than my current vehicle. The real question is whether I can get a business benefit from moving to the new environment.

IMHO the Vista question is completely irrelevant for most SMB. There might be some incremental security benefits in moving to Vista but they're not worth the $x0,000 cost in software testing, application 'remediation', cost of new hardware, user disruption and retraining, IT staff disruption and retraining plus the thrill-a-minute ride of knowing you are working on the bleeding edge of MS technology.

So what has this to do with Lotus Foundations Server? Not much really, but I just loved the sheer chutzpah of Microsoft in shifting the blame for OS incompatibility from Vista onto the existing applications. I'm thinking I'll stick with XP on my workstations for the next year then see how Linux for the desktop is coming along.

No comments: