Businesses remain unconvinced about the benefits of moving to Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system and most are delaying any plans to upgrade until 2009 at the earliest.

One year after the business launch of Vista, only one of’s 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel said they had plans to move to the new OS in 2008.

Most plan to stick with the stability of Windows XP and implement Service Pack 3 for that OS before they even start thinking about Vista.

Adrian Hughes, head of IS for insurance company Amlin, said: “We are sticking with XP and look to take XP SP3 in 2009. Vista not until 2011, unless there is a good reason to migrate, by which time the next OS may be out so we would then skip a generation.”

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency isn’t planning to upgrade to Vista for two to three years.

James Findlay, head of ICT for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said: “With XP SP3 due out next year sometime, there is little incentive to upgrade to Vista as Microsoft continue to support the XP product, which continues to work well. Why add cost and risk to our already complicated worlds?”

Vista: all the coverage…

1. Poll: In a fight between Vista, OS X, Linux, XP…
2. One year on: XP still outshining Vista
3. Vista – businesses not convinced
4. Vista – when will business take the plunge?
5. Gates: Vista selling faster than XP
6. takes stock with Windows Vista
7. CIO Jury: IT chiefs not yet planning for Windows Vista
8. Blighty Vista “overcharging” attacked

Compatibility of business applications – or potential lack of – with Vista is another factor forcing businesses to delay upgrade plans.

Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services for Ashford Borough Council, said: “We will only upgrade when our business apps are no longer supported by XP. It could be a long wait.”

For others it is the sheer lack of any business benefit that makes the cost and pain of upgrading to Vista not worthwhile.

Steve Fountain, IT director for Markel International, said: “We’ll probably ‘plan’ during 2008 and implement through 2009 as part of a serious consideration to ‘virtualise’ our desktop environment. Still no business drivers identified to justify or support this activity.”

Kevin Fitzpatrick, European CIO for Sodexho, said: “The product itself is very good but for us there is no compelling reason to go through the cost and effort of a change.”

Andrew Clarke, group IT director for retail group Arcadia, said the company has no plans to upgrade within the next 24 months.

But toy manufacturer Hasbro is one organisation already planning a staged Vista upgrade from the second quarter of 2008 to the end of the year. Michael Elliot, IT director for Hasbro UK, said: “Service Pack 1 should be available in early 2008. We will monitor progress and pace accordingly.”

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Stuart Aitken, CIO, Medical Research Council
Bill Ashworth, IT director, Countrywide Surveyors
Andrew Clarke, group IT director, Arcadia Group
Ken Davis, IT director, Five
Michael Elliot, IT director, Hasbro UK
James Findlay, head of ICT, Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Kevin Fitzpatrick, European CIO, Sodexho
Steve Fountain, IT director, Markel International
Adrian Hughes, head of IS for insurance company Amlin
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Group
Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services, Ashford Borough Council
Jacques Rene, CTO, Ascend

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