“Ten Reasons You Should and Shouldn’t Care About Windows Vista,” by Gartner’s Neil MacDonald and Michael A. Silver — a timely list, as Microsoft again pushed back the Vista launch dates … do we care? The best four:
1) “Full Volume Encryption With TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 1.2 Support.” It does seem that laptops full of customer data get stolen weekly, and Gartner points out that Vista will help protect against the lost/stolen machine scenario. Of course, you can already buy similar encryption today for $30 to $90 per machine, Gartner notes.
2) “Integrated Search With Document Orientation.” Because Microsoft owns the UI, Gartner argues, it could potentially do a much better job of integrated desktop search than third parties. On the other hand, third-party tools are here now, and with Vista, users will have to be taught about metadata. Did I mention the bit about pigs flying?
3) “Support for Tablet PC and x64.” The 64-bit code will come on the same CD, and at no extra cost. But Gartner notes that you have to choose between the 32- and 64-bit versions on install, when you really should be able to bump up to 64 later if you start with 32 and change your mind.
4) “Because at some point, you’ll have no choice.” Although Windows 2000 support ends in 2010, Gartner predicts that XP SP2 enterprises won’t find Vista compelling enough to upgrade outside of their normal hardware refresh cycle. XP support ends in 2013 — maybe by then Microsoft will have gotten serious enough competition from Apple or Linux to have dramatically expanded the realm of OS choices it offers.
Personally I’d love a 20th anniversary edition of “Windows for Workgroups.” Not!