Moving to Windows 7 will be just as bad as moving to Vista, says Microsoft

Forgive me if I have misread the ‘Business Value of Windows Vista‘ paper that Microsoft has published in an attempt to convince the corporate user to switch to Vista now instead of waiting for the arrival of Windows 7 instead. However, the way I read it, it seems that Microsoft, when it says users jumping from XP to Windows 7 will have “a similar applications compatibility experience… as exists moving to Windows Vista from Windows XP” are actually saying that both migrations are pretty dire.

In fact, Microsoft will argue that the migration will be tougher if users have not moved to Vista already. Now that I can accept, although the migration to Vista from XP will remain a time consuming and problematical one for many people. It seems almost unfair to expect them to go through that twice, so why not wait until Windows 7 and just do it once?

Well, there’s always the better security argument I guess, which has some substance of course, but beyond that I am not getting much feedback from the small business types I meet that suggests there is any real world motivation to make the move. In fact, the business-oriented feedback I get can be best summed up as ‘even though it’s broke, migrating to Vista won’t fix it.’

Joking aside, Microsoft does have a point. Forget whether you choose to believe the corporate VP of Windows product management Mike Nash when he says in the paper’s executive summary that the device and application compatibility situation in Vista is now dramatically better than it was, the thing you have to really think about is whether it will be any better at all if you just wait for the next point release of the OS to come along instead. History would suggest not on your nelly. Nash himself, if an email that was disclosed during the discovery phase of the Vista Capable marketing class action suite is to be believed, knows all about the problems of migration to Vista. Apparently Nash wrote, referring to hardware requirements when upgrading to Vista, that he “got burnt” and ended up with “a $2100 email machine.”

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