Dell bullish about Vista adoption

Consumers and businesses will embrace the new operating system, accelerate transition at home and work, Dell exec says.

Businesses will upgrade to Microsoft's Vista in droves as consumers bring their love of the next-generation operating system from home to work, a Dell executive says.

The company's chief technology officer, Kevin Kettler, on Monday said he's "bullish" about Vista uptake in among enterprise customers. "This will be an important transition for Microsoft as well as for Dell," he told CNET News.com sister site Silicon.com.

Vista will offer major improvements on Windows that both businesses and consumers will want to take advantage of, which is why Dell is preparing for a "more aggressive than usual" uptick in hardware sales, as people upgrade, another Dell executive said.

One Vista feature that will win over enterprises is the ability to run different versions of the operating system depending on the hardware, Kettler said. For instance, a company could install a basic, less resource-intensive version to older hardware and a high-performance version with to newer hardware.

This positions Vista for widespread adoption, Kettler said "It's an easy sell up (because) it's available to everybody in a mixed environment" of legacy and newer hardware, he said.

When innovation is contagious
Consumers eager to try out the next-generation operating system's entertainment features will also drive uptake in businesses, Dell executives said, as those consumers who learn to love Vista at home will then campaign for their IT department to get it at work too.

Dell's Kettler said he sees technology spreading from consumers into the enterprise but noted that innovation moves the other way too--technology originally devised for corporate products moves into the home.

Kettler said he has made this sort of "cross-collaboration" a strategic priority at Dell, where he ensures technologists working on different products--servers, desktops, laptops or TVs--meet up regularly to discuss how the technologies they're developing could help each other.

"We're driving technology from the consumer to the enterprise and from the enterprise to the consumer," Kettler said.

This becomes more important as deployment of products for the digital home brings up issues once pertinent only to businesses, he explained. For instance, the popularity of digital photos may mean families invest in a backup system for their image files. Also, it's more common to see networking hardware in the home that manages several electronic gadgets through one system.

Power management is one area where this collaboration between business and consumer arenas will come to fruition at Dell, Kettler said. "We have some cool things coming which will span across all our products," he said.

Sylvia Carr of Silicon.com reported from London.

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