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Vista has landed! But it won't take off

Vista Business launches today but will your boss be rolling it out across your office? Not likely, mate

After what seems like aeons, Vista has finally gone on sale -- but only to business users. So does that mean you and your co-workers will be all Vista'd up in time for Christmas? Will the talk of the office party be how much Vista Business has increased productivity and morale, or will it simply be the usual form of getting drunk, groping your boss, then going home to bitch about how XP is a load of rubbish?

Probably the latter -- there's very little chance your company, or ours for that matter, will adopt Vista any time soon. And for good reason; there's a lot to lose by rushing headlong into an OS that's completely unproven, that will require massive financial investment and comes from a software designer with several OS flops to its name. Windows ME, anyone?

The total cost of switching to Vista is difficult enough for Joe Public to swallow, let alone a money-conscious MD, to whom a new Lamborghini is of far more importance than upgrading from Windows XP. Most of us will need a brand new PC costing somewhere in the region of £1,000 to be Vista-ready. Then there's the cost of the OS itself -- $399 (£205) for Vista Ultimate, or $299 (£154) for Vista Business. Then there's the software -- you're going to want new versions of Microsoft Office $499 (£255), not to mention new antivirus apps and new versions of programs that currently only run on Windows XP.

That's around £1,500 per new Vista machine, which doesn't include the cost of making changes to your server infrastructure and support costs -- your MD's going to love that.

Microsoft, naturally, says it's worth companies overhauling their IT infrastructure for Vista. It says, "For the IT professional, Windows Vista is easier to deploy, and less expensive to maintain, than any earlier version of Windows. And for your end users, Windows Vista's improved performance and reliability add value by allowing people to be more effective while performing their jobs."

The first half of that argument is probably valid, but the second half -- that twaddle about how Vista's improved performance and reliability will make us more effective -- has to be nonsense. We've used Vista, and haven't seen much in it that'll help us send an email or open a Word document any quicker.

Don't get us wrong -- we really like Vista. It's better than XP, possibly better than Apple OS X, and it has a wealth of funky new features. We just don't think you should get your hopes up about seeing it in your workplace any time soon -- not as long as your MD has his eye on that new set of wheels. -RR