Microsoft is set to finally release Windows Vista early next year but IT chiefs say they are in no hurry to upgrade to the new operating system.

All of’s 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel said they don’t believe there will be enough benefits to justify the cost and pain of being an early adopter of Vista when it is first released.

A consensus among many of the CIO Jury is that Windows XP is currently already delivering enough functionality and reliability for their needs.

Steve Fountain, IT director at property and casualty insurer Markel International, said: “We certainly don’t have any business users queuing outside knocking our door down demanding that we position ourselves to take early advantage of what Windows Vista promises to deliver over and above what XP is currently delivering.”

Graham Yellowley, director of technology at investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International, agreed and said: “At this stage Windows XP SP2 gives us a stable secure platform which is supported by all our application vendors. Migration to Vista will not be undertaken until a considerable period of time has passed from the initial release and the current set of application-vendors fully support it.”

There would be few, if any, immediate benefits of an early upgrade to Vista, according to Ted Woodhouse, director of IT strategy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

He said: “What’s been needed in Windows all along, more than anything else, is stability and reliability. XP seems, at last, largely to have achieved that, so there is no need to hurry away from it.”

Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer service at Ashford Borough Council, said: “As more of our line of business apps move towards being web or client-server based, the need for full-featured desktop operating systems reduces.”

Others said they plan to either wait until Vista Service Pack 2 or when a hardware upgrade is due.

Christopher Linfoot, IT director at LDV Vans, said: “Vista seems to require a lot of machine power and a natural point at which to take the upgrade would be during a hardware refresh though I suspect most PC original equipment manufacturers will continue to offer XP alongside Vista for some time after Vista is released, enabling businesses to adopt it at their own pace.”

Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, said: “If there are any benefits to be had we’ll be six months or more behind the early adopters who can do their usual public service of shaking out the bugs.”

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director, Hachette Filipacchi UK
Peter Birley, IT director, Browne Jacobson
Chris Broad, head of IS&T, UK Atomic Energy Authority
Steve Fountain, IT director, Markel International
Paul Haley, IT director, University of Aberdeen
Tony Johnson, IT director, Virgin Megastores
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Vans
Luke Mellors, IT director, Expotel
Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer service, Ashford Borough Council
Peter Pedersen, CTO, Blue Square
Ted Woodhouse, director of IT strategy, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Graham Yellowley, director of technology, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International

If you are a CIO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of’s CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at