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Vista in the Enterprise


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There've been way too many bad puns at the expense of Microsoft's new desktop OS, so we'll keep the gallows humor to a minimum. But let's be clear: Eventually, all our Windows machines will run Vista. That includes the 38 percent of respondents to our reader poll who said they have no plans to upgrade.

What's that, you say? Why deploy an absolute resource hog of a desktop OS when the trend for custom solutions is toward Web-based applications? Vista Gallery

Short, paranoid answer: Because most of us will have no choice, as the vast, bloated hardware-software conspiracy keeps rolling along.

The elephant in the boardroom is that Vista is designed for home users seeking snazzy multimedia features to make their Windows boxes more Mac-like. Beefed up security in the form of BitLocker and User Account Control are being used as hooks to haul enterprises along for the ride and, to be fair, it does look like Vista's native security is tighter than XP's--for now.

Tutorial: How To Plan Your Vista Deployment

But think about it from a functional standpoint: Didn't Windows 95 do pretty much everything your business needed? Interim OS upgrades had easily identifiable payoffs that made migrating worthwhile. Moving to XP brought network-management capabilities, granular Active Directory control and other new goodies.

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