In response to Ed Bott’s recent article, “Five things every IT pro needs to know about Windows XP,” I asked TechRepublic members if they were moving to Microsoft’s latest OS offering. You responded with a resounding, “Not yet.” Many of you said that XP offers no clear benefit, and others were turned off by Microsoft’s licensing plan. None of you indicated that you were planning a move to XP in the near future. Because of the volume of feedback, I can’t publish every response. However, I believe the following is a fair representation of your responses.

Welcome to In Response

Want to know how your peers feel about critical issues in the world of IT? Support Republic’s In Response column highlights the feedback we’ve received from TechRepublic members.

No clear benefit to XP
Atmasaro: IT vs. business sense
“I am IT manager for a 500+ company. I moved to Win 2000 last January. I intend to stay with W2K for at least a year. For a company my size, it makes very little business sense to hop from OS to OS at the same rate the MS churns them out. It is also very dangerous to fail to adapt to change.
Over the years, I have learned that the best approach is to base your decisions squarely on business needs (gone are the days when IT needs could supercede business needs).”

Acalford: I don’t think so!
“Working for a small rural hospital’s IS department, I have come to appreciate making changes as simple and cost-effective as possible. Faced with an ongoing hardware replacement program and a requirement to install a more secure OS due to federal information privacy regulations, we have been moving towards a Win2000 solution.
After battling to convince upper management that this is the best path to take, I am not convinced that changing strategies is worth the trouble. Win2000 has been accepted readily by our users because it’s close enough to Win9x to be familiar, and its stability makes them happy. In the long run, we will eventually have to [move to] XP, but as far as I am concerned the longer the better.”

Gregt: Software 101 for those that forgot
“I have been a consultant for dozens of companies for years now.
#1 The biggest thing I have learned is that for 85 percent of companies out there, Win95/Office95 would be sufficient if they were made stable. After all, today most corporate production work consists of a spreadsheet, a word processor, and e-mail. What we fail to remember is that software is a product, and products need to be purchased to make a company’s revenue. If we don’t buy the product every six months, a company will loose profitability. #2 Define what your needs are, then buy the product that fits. Not the current trend of visa-versa.”

Departure from perpetual licensing turns some away
TimHg: Hold as long as possible (forever?!)
“I hate Product Activation (no problem with antipiracy, but this is a complete pain in ass for admins wanting to image).
Now, as the article suggests, you will not have a problem if you hold up a white flag and buy into Open/Select type arrangement. I object to being forced into this and think it is part of MS longer-term plan to force people into software rental big-time and make sure it is VERY hard to get off the treadmill.
Apart from the above, even if those issues didn’t exist, I see no real benefits to the vast majority of businesses over Win 2K Pro, which is just about bedding in nicely.
So why go to XP at all? If enough people say, “Whoa! Enough already!” then MS may just get the message that users are tired of their games and just want a stable platform. Congratulations, Win2K is IT!
Now, some businesses will go to XP because it is the latest and greatest (not) and for no other reason. They must have money to burn and/or not have learned the lessons over the past 10 years or so. My tuppence worth.”

Rradzville: Probably never
“I’m a sysadmin for a small corp. HQ of 10-15 users. I’m currently running 1 NT Server, which is running SBS 4.5, which includes Exchange, IIS, SQL, DHCP etc. All Win 9x clients w/Office 97. I’m currently testing a W2K client, and planning an upgrade to W2K Server, W2K Pro clients, and Office2K. And stopping there. I hate Product Activation. And the subscription model. The subscription model motto is “Never stop paying for software.”

Are you on the XP bandwagon?

Is your organization planning to roll out Windows and Office XP? If so, why? If not, what’s holding you back? Click here to join this discussion.