Saturday, November 25, 2006

Are Vista and Office 2007 Aimed at Business Users?

Since I work in an office, the headline "Microsoft's latest upgrade aimed at its business users" in the Delaware Online News Journal caught my attention and so I read on:

"Bill Hartnett got accustomed to the screaming. As Microsoft Corp.'s manager of software sales to financial services companies, Hartnett used to get pelted with complaints about the security and reliability of Microsoft's products.

Hartnett speaks openly about those dark days because he's sure they're well past. He and his colleagues contend the company is about to give businesses compelling reasons to not just tolerate Microsoft, but to be thrilled with it.

The occasion is the launch of crucial upgrades to Microsoft's most widely used and most profitable products. All at once, Microsoft is releasing a new Windows operating system, known as Vista; an update of the Office "productivity" package, which includes Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint; and server software that handles behind-the-scenes functions."
Mr. Hartnett and others expecting a massive run by businesses to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 will most likely be in for a disappointment. Although I expect I would find the enhancements to Office 2007 exciting and more productive, I wonder if I will even see them installed on my office computer before I retire.

The standard operating system where I work is Windows 2000. It is only as hard drives fail that they are replaced with Windows XP. Because the majority of the staff in the area where I work have W2K (new in 2001), that is what is on my office desktop, with XP on the test box.

There is a valid reasons for delays in the work place. In addition to "off-the-shelf" software programs, there are over 3000 custom applications in the company where I work. Testing each application for compatibility and making changes is a daunting challenge, particularly when those applications are tied to manufacturing and other critical processes in the work place.

Another reason for delays in upgrading is that having older computers in a large company means that more than just an upgrade is required. Rather, a complete replacement would be necessary since the older computers will just not be able to run Windows Vista. Replacing thousands of computers and operating systems can take years.

Thus, even though Windows Vista and Office 2007 may be aimed at business users, I expect it will be closer to two years after release before larger companies start the replacement process.

No comments: