Intel, Dell hold off on internal rollout of Vista

The two companies plan to wait to deploy the OS on employees' computers after the first service pack is released.

Intel will roll out Vista internally only once the first service pack of the operating system has been released, and Dell is likely to do the same.

Speaking to ZDNet UK at a Dell event in Paris on Thursday, Intel Europe's director of IT, Martin Mueller, said that the company's Vista deployment would commence in the second half of 2007, once Centrino Pro computers--incorporating the next-generation Santa Rosa platform--have become widely available.

"Centrino Pro is a far more capable platform (than the previous version of Centrino) based on the performance delivered by the Centrino core," Mueller said. "We will use it as our standard platform for rolling out Vista and Office 2007. We saw Santa Rosa and Vista coming along in roughly synchronized time, which led us to be a little slow on replacements (of computers within Intel) in the last few months."

More than 80 percent of Intel's employees use notebook computers. Mueller said that Service Pack 1 (SP1) of Vista would be "tied to the (Centrino Pro) platform" within Intel's internal IT plan, but he suggested that Intel had delayed its Vista rollout in any case, in order to "make sure that all our internal applications operate with Office 2007 and Vista."

He added that, while Intel's IT department often acts as a beta test site for the company's own products, it is nonetheless sometimes behind other companies in deploying the latest commercially available technology, due to the IT "rationality" of being a large company.

Dell has also not yet rolled out Vista internally, although its director of client marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Eric Greffier, said it is "very close" to doing so. "We are pretty much in the same position as Intel within Dell," he said Thursday. "We knew we would roll out Vista internally faster than any other OS (but) if we are at the SP1 level it is going to be safer."

Greffier said that the current demand for Vista is stronger than for Windows 2000 or XP. He also said that the security features inherent to Vista will make large companies' migration "almost mandatory" in light of current business regulations. "Our message is clear--you need to think (about your migration to Vista) now. If you don't, you will never be ready for next year," he said.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from Paris.

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