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If you sit out Vista, what are your alternatives?

Steve Ballmer has finally come out and said that it's ok with him if you sit out Vista and stick with XP until Windows 7 ships. But will you wait? And when 7 ships, will you sit out that as well?

Steve Ballmer has finally come out and said that it's OK with him if you sit out Vista and stick with XP until Windows 7 ships. But will you wait? And when 7 ships, will you sit out that as well? Take the poll and see how your Vista Avoidance strategy compares with others.

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As Jason Hiner pointed out in Tech Sanity Check, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is still pushing Windows Vista but has come to realize that some businesses aren't interested. He's fine with the notion that businesses continue to run Windows XP until Windows 7 ships, hopefully by 2010.

So, you have at least two years to decide what to do. You can sit out Vista and wait for 7. You might even decide you don't want to go with 7 while you're at it. Or it might be a good time to look at Mac or Linux. What do you think?

Sitting out 7

Of course, if you do decide to sit out Windows Vista, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to make the jump to Windows 7 at all. If XP is good today, it will probably be just as good by the time 7 ships. If history is any guide, subsequent versions of Windows run slower and take more resources. And, let's not forget that Windows 7 is going to be built out of Windows Vista code, so Microsoft will have to do a lot of optimizing.

Microsoft is supporting XP until 2014, so there's not necessarily a rush to embrace Windows 7 either. By the time 7 ships, quad-core or better processors will be standard as will 4GB of memory on starter machines. XP will be nearly instantaneous on such hardware. With Microsoft supporting XP well into 7's lifespan, you might be able to wait until Windows 8 or whatever if 7 still has too much Vista in it for your liking.

Moving to the Mac

Momentum for the Mac continues to grow. Apple now is the top seller of laptops, which, even though it doesn't make OS X the dominant portable OS, represents a much larger market share than Mac has on the desktop. As people abandon traditional desktop computers for more mobile devices, there's some opportunity for OS X.

Even though you're locked into proprietary hardware and software running a Mac, most Apple customers don't seem to mind. The OS is solid, and you always have the option of running Windows or Linux on the box as well.

Apple has been lucky enough to double market share since switching to Intel processors. With two more years until Windows 7 comes out, its market share may increase again, making it a significant alternative to Windows, not just a niche player.

Leaping for Linux

Linux proponents have seemingly declared every year since 2000 as being the year for Linux On The Desktop. Linux seems to get better with every iteration, but is it there yet? It might be.

I spend about half my day on a Linux box. About the only time I flip to Windows is when I have to do something that Linux can't -- like working with Exchange's calendars conveniently, for example.

With the new distributions that are constantly coming out, Linux programmers have been consistently moving the ball down the field, encroaching on Windows' desktop territory. As decent as things are now, with another two years of coding, 2010 just might BE the year of Linux On The Desktop.

What are you going to do?

Are you going to sit out Vista? Or have you decided to go with it and see what happens? If you've decided to sit out Vista, what do you view as your best alternative? Take the poll below and let us know in Comments what your Vista Avoidance strategy is:

24 comments
rbees
rbees

I decided to sit out vista before I got my new laptop. Would have bought one with no os on it but they would only sell it with vista installed. Vista is still installed but I run Debian Lenny 64. When I need the drive space vista will be gone. I boot to vista maybe every couple of months, just to remind myself why I switched to linux back when Sarge was stable.

jdclyde
jdclyde

I am moving my users to OO and FF. Once they are used to using the applications, they won't know or care what OS is loaded on their systems. I just hope AutoCad will come out with a native linux version. If people think back to the last few years of arguments against moving to linux desktops, the top one has been the expense and time to retrain the users. Thanks to the redesign of Vista and Office, the users will have to be retrained ANYWAYS. MS themselves have taken away the number one reason to stay with them.

AmraLeo
AmraLeo

I'm glad I don't have to be worried about it, I've used Mepis Linux for years. And yes, I'm cool...but not because I use Linux (although that helps), I just am. I'm not super-smart, or a super-geek, or whatever...I'm just an average guy and Mepis "just works"... 'Nuff said.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

We are staying with XP and training staff on Linux as we work with Mac is specific applications. We see a linux backbone or core with small specific applications of Win X maybe a workgroup and Mac for sales and graphics(tossing in a couple of Sun workstations).

rgcok
rgcok

I work remotely through RDC our server runs MS server 2003. Everything works almost flawlessly. I have had some print driver issues before when updating OS. So if everything works great why change? I know there is a certain segment that has to have the newest, latest. But I deal in a very practical world. Some peoples feelings for software and software companies seem to have taken and almost religious fervor, for or against. I have a religion, and I am satisfied with my hardware and software. I will change when something breaks.

itpro_z
itpro_z

We are using Vista on new machines, with excellent results. Performance has been great, stability is better than XP, and our users love it. The experience we are gaining supporting Vista should pay off when 7 hits. But... We do have a few departments running older proprietary software that is not Vista compatible. For them, we still use XP on new systems while pushing them to upgrade to something more modern. XP will not be around forever, after all. But... We have been evaluating Linux as a desktop OS. So far, it is getting quite close to meeting our needs, but still falls short in a few areas, mainly due to proprietary applications that we use. Like the author said, maybe in another year or two. But... What about the Mac? Sorry, but not even close. While I can get Linux to do most of what we need, Macs are lacking some of our most basic needs, such as IBM client software. Apple's premium pricing would also be an issue. In short, we use what works. Sometimes that is Vista, sometimes XP, and maybe someday, Linux. By the way, we still have a good number of Win2K machines in service as well, but did finally retire our last Win98 machines this year.

JosiahB
JosiahB

We're headed towards a terminal services environment as we speak, takes the pain out of having to pick between desktop operating systems completely.

kraterz
kraterz

All our servers run AIX or Solaris, our workstations are on XP or Linux, and some special purpose machines still run win2k which when configured correctly are still sleek and stable compared to today's offerings. We've streamlined a customized win2k installation that takes up less than 400MB on the disk, and does everything we want. As for average-Joe/Jane workstations for the HR folks and the likes, everyone's on XP.

Jaqui
Jaqui

after all, I've never made a secret of the fact I do NOT use windows at all.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

sitting out Vista, you are bypassing MS altogether. So you just dont count... Sorry Jaqui....

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Jaqui gets off on being unique, different and unlike the masses, Linux users are supposed ot be cool, from a geek standpoint anyway. In fact he gets off on it so much that he needed to point it out in this discussion anway. Just don't tell him that other people use Linux too, that'll just rain on his parade. Not to worry, Jaqui, you are the one and only Linux user.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Wow, 27 votes and only 1 comment thuis far! Disappointing actually :( Anyway, at work I am running Vista (barely, but I have to), XP (preferred for most things), and Linux (whenever I can). And I suspect, if I am still here at the Vista v.2 then I will probably be forced onto it too (but I have a few systems to use, so I'll likely keep clinging to XP/Linux when I can) At home, I am clinging to XP for now, and unless some drastic changes are made to Vista, I have already started moving to Linux and plan to replace MS at home completely when this XP machine dies

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

Vista continues to struggle with image problems. Even Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has recognized the fact and said that he understands why businesses may stick with XP until Windows 7 ships. But if you do sit out Vista, what are your alternatives? I listed some of them in Decision Central along with a poll asking what you want to do instead of Vista: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/decisioncentral/?p=160 What's your Vista Avoidance strategy? Will you sit out Vista, if so what will you do instead and why?

killerb255
killerb255

7 will be to Vista as XP was to 2000. 2000 was the first Windows OS to merge NT with 9x somewhat (yes, I know it's NT with some 9x features like PnP). However, it still wasn't ready for home use at that point. XP changed all that. XP offered stability over 9x and Me, but not a whole lot over 2000 at the time. It sounds like 7 may continue that trend: it won't offer a whole lot over Vista, but it may offer some things over XP that weren't so obvious (or even necessary) in Vista...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you need to start doing now, otherwise you'll be really really sorry. This advice is based on MS making use of the recent hardware at the time of Win7s release, that the software they will be suiting Win7 for will be Vista compatibile, in terms of performance and security model. If you don't think the above will happen, I have a bridge for sale.... Get your hardware upgrade program going. Get your proprietry software upgrade plan going. Make any inhouse software compatible with Vista's security model. Any really problematic areas of business functionality, look at isolating them, inhouse web services perhaps. In other words invest towards Win7 release, otherwise even if Win7 provides a very attractive functionality and performance upgrade for business (Vista most definitely did not), the cost is going to be horrendous. You could even, have a look at reducing your dependance on Windows, what you can't do is expect MS to solve all the problems you had with Vista, by re-inventing XP. HtHs

LarryD4
LarryD4

WinXP 64 Bit and i'm quite happy. :)

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

I've been using 64 bit Vista for a little over a month, and it seemed fine at first, but I've noticed a problem where 32 bit programs have a tendency to temporarily hang. The rest of the OS will do fine, but everything that's 32 bit will refuse to respond to the keyboard or mouse clicks for minutes at a time. General weirdness...

killerb255
killerb255

Any problems finding drivers for XP x64?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

As I do a LOT of print publishing, I have grown very fond of Vista's WCS which runs at the OS. Compared to XP (running ICM), it is a [b]lot[/b] faster, unless you arepatient enough to wait for an hour or two while XP corrects and calibrates colours for you, best left overnight on more complex work. Even MAC's, ColourSync, so far a leader in that area is a slug compared to WCS. Thus I am left with no choice but to run Vista now, I do print publishing and nothing else, Linux, Windows or MAC can compete.

StealthWiFi
StealthWiFi

How many company's are still running Windows 2000... I think the same thing will happen with XP, shops will keep it for as long as they can. I have 1 Vista box in my shop, it suxs that's all I have to say there. Maybe 7 will be better but M$ is M$...

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I was applying for a position at Cisco, and they were still on Win 95 clients. The reason was that their SW worked well with it and would need to be re-tooled for Win2k. I wonder how many businesses are still running pre-2k Windows?