When to Vista
I’m running Vista on my Desktop and Tablet and will be running Windows 2008 Server on my lab soon. My wife and 3 of the girls are running XP and my eldest daughter is running Windows 2003 Server on their laptops so I feel a bit like a small business! But back to the post.
I’ve done quite a few enterprise operating system upgrade projects, and one thing I’ve learned is that whenever I started one of these projects I always pushed for the latest operating system available:
- NT 3.51 instead of Windows 95 (I think) , this was considered a very big risk
- NT 4 instead of NT 3.51, not so much of a risk
- Windows 2000 instead of NT 4, this was considered a big risk
- Windows XP instead of Windows 2000, this was considered a very big risk at the time
and always got the same pushback:
- Wait for service pack 1
- Driver supports terrible
- None of our applications will work, and even if they do what about vendor support
- Who will support it, no ones trained
However what people always seem to forget is that enterprise deployments take a long time to plan and execute and that the world moves fast. In every case mid way through the deployment it seemed unimaginable that we could have been deploying anything but the latest version and all of the issues had faded away.
I think it’s the same with Vista, my view – get on with the planning, it will take you longer than you think and in 9 months time when you start volume deployments you won’t understand what all the fuss was about.
That said – please don’t think of your programme as a Vista upgrade. Instead:
- Model your workforce in terms of their workstyles
- review the appropriate solution for each workstyle, looking at the many highly differentiated options for desktop and application delivery including consumerized/Linux solutions for some user segments
- rationalise down to a few desktop/OS and application delivery technologies (not one per workstyle) to keep control of cost and complexity and increase flexibility
- try and leverage the change programme to achieve some significant business improvement, cultural change and productivity improvements
- Architect your solution to loosen the coupling of the desktop operating system to the applications, to make future change easier.