Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Perfect Vista?

Today in the hallowed surrounds of the British Library, Microsoft unveiled "the future of interactive, personalised connected experiences,” Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. A lot of the launch centred around the richer, visual experience end users can gain from applications built on Windows Vista, which brings music, TV and movies, games and photography, and personal or work documents "vibrantly to life".

Guests got a sneak preview of a new British Library technology,‘Turning The Pages 2.0’, which uses Windows Vista technology to bring two of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, the Codices, to life.

Windows Vista is Microsoft's response to Web 2.0 and aims to provide end users with a richer, more dynamic and user friendly computing experience. Those of us who have poked holes in the security of Windows operating systems are also meant to feel safer with Vista, which includes a filter to protect against illegal web sites (this is all stuff you have always been able to purchase separately from software security experts such as McAfee, but now Microsoft has decided to build it in).

But while it may mean a richer user experience for consumers, businesses seem less bedazzled by Vista? Scott Dodds, head of small and medium business, Microsoft UK, says that Windows Vista will make running IT and computer systems easier to manage so small businesses can focus on the more important things in life, such as selling to customers.

But while Microsoft was effusing about the "personalised connected experiences" of Vista, emedia's RapidResearch released findings from its quarterly survey of over 150 UK IT directors indicating that almost 50% anticipated that upgrading to Windows Vista would distract from more important business issues- such as actually running the business.

Fifty-four percent highlighted application incompatibility as one of the "pains" of migrating to Microsoft's latest operating system, while 63% also cited cost pressures. Just under 50% of respondents expect their organisation will migrate to Vista in the foreseeable future.

While Vista may enhance security, optimise desktop infrastructure,help in the retrieval and use of information and enable a mobile workforce, let's not forget the headaches and disruption migrating to a new operating system means for a lot of businesses.

Perhaps in addition to having "dazzling visuals" demonstrating the user rich experience of Windows Vista at the British Library, they should have also had a couple of IT directors sitting in the corner tinkering away trying to integrate Vista with their legacy applications.

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