Microsoft: Don't give Vista a miss

By Victoria Ho

Following Windows 7's beta release, Microsoft is sending the message to companies not to give Vista a miss, saying investments toward adopting the OS can be reused when Windows 7 is ready.
Speaking at a press demo session of Windows 7 beta, Richard Francis, general manager, Windows client BG lead, business and marketing organisation, Asia-Pacific region at Microsoft, said companies are "encouraged to" upgrade to Windows Vista after predecessor XP, instead of waiting for Windows 7 to be released.

"Certainly, there will be some companies that will decide to skip Vista and wait for Windows 7. But we are asking customers to continue and deploy Windows Vista," said Francis.

He explained that the software giant prioritized "easing migration" from Vista to 7, so "migrating to 7 will build upon [earlier] migration efforts to Vista" for enterprises.

Touting the security features of Vista, he said it is expected to provide a safer environment for companies above XP. He added that these features such as the User Account Control tool, although contributing to a "safer" OS, were "annoying for users", and are able to be customized in 7.

Francis noted that the device compatibility issues which plagued Vista are not expected to be an issue with 7. "When Vista came out, there were only 22,000 compatible devices with the right drivers. Now there are 78,000, so there is better support from the ecosystem," he said.

On current XP users considering paying for extended support as mainstream support reaches its April 2009 deadline, Francis said it is "too soon to say" how many will opt for that, but added that "there is no leading indicator for now that they will do so".

"A lot of customers have refreshed their machines which are Vista-capable, so they should not have issues moving to Vista," he stated.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer late last year said companies "can wait" for Windows 7, but also encouraged users to migrate to Vista.