XP Is Good Enough

ballmer Installing a new operating system is a pain in the neck. I hate doing it at home.  But how would you like to be the IT guy saddled with the task of updating 1,000 machines?

You basically have two choices:
  a) Let your customers use XP, take on no new workload for yourself so you can keep playing quake, get no new technical support questions and have no chance of getting fired, or

  b) Upgrade to Vista/Win7, creating tons of work for yourself in testing compatibility, be left with late-night work to answer stupid support questions, and if anything goes wrong, run the risk of getting fired.  Worse, you know that something *will* go wrong.  It’s just a matter of how bad the screw-up is.

Frankly – XP is good enough.  It works.  It’s compatible.  Hardware keeps getting faster to keep productivity up.  Applications move to the web, and the workload for supporting applications gets lighter.

Upgrading to Vista or Windows 7 means you have to make sure that every one of the 347 applications which worked yesterday still work today.  That’s simply an impossible task.  I wouldn’t want to do it.  Why would any IT manager want to?

Maybe Microsoft should just go into milk-the-cow mode.   No more operating systems.  Just do small patches to XP forever.

See also:
Recalling the Vista ‘Upgrade’
Vista Upgrade + Corporate Fleets = Costly Waste of Time
Microsoft Terrified Companies won’t Upgrade to Win7
Dell Warns of Vista Upgrade Challenges

3 thoughts on “XP Is Good Enough

  • February 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    If you are any sort of IT guy worth his/her salt you are always going to choose option b because you want to learn more and you want work with the latest technology, even if that means more work. If you choose option a, then you might as well become a security guard because your job will be as interesting and you clearly have no interest in progressing your career.

  • February 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Implicit in the post is the belief that Vista does not have sufficient features to outweigh the heavy costs and risks of upgrading.

    IT guys are not worth their salt because they switch you to the latest technology. They are worth their salt if they make their customers more effective and productive. The problem is, Vista doesn’t accomplish that goal.

    But don’t take my word for it – IT departments around the globe are voting by not upgrading. Here is one study which says that 60% of corporations don’t see the value: http://practical-tech.com/uncategorized/vista-adoption-going-no-where-it-considering-linux-and-mac-instead/

  • March 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    The way I see it, we are all trying to do more with less. Sure, some companies have the dedicated guy to make sure the router is blinking, but in a majority of the companies you have a critically small IT staff that is spending most of their time patching, installing and doing general maintenance. Heck, in our group we have a staff of 6 people responsible for over 1,000 users on 1,100 computers. This includes firewalls, servers, desktop support and infastrucutre.

    We don’t have the time to deploy Windows Vista, or Windows 7. IF, and I repeat, IF it makes my life easier, or my customers life easier or more efficient, then we can start to roll it out. For example, the latest Exchange does make people’s life easier and better, so it was worth the pain of installing it. If it only makes people groan, then it isn’t worth my time.

    And all that without talking about the cost to upgrade. Yeah, $70/ea for each PC just for some fancy whistles and a searchable start menu? That’s fine, I’ll pass.


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