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Maine To Skip Vista, Go Directly To Windows 7

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the should-have-hired-stephen-king dept.

Microsoft 242

Preedit writes "The State of Maine is the latest organization to skip Windows Vista, which has been a near-disaster for Microsoft. An internal state document (dated September 15) uncovered by Infoweek reveals that Maine will not be upgrading its more than 11,000 personal computing devices from XP to Vista — ever. Instead, it's going to wait until Windows 7 ships in 2010 and hope for the best. The news is in line with a survey that shows only 4% of businesses in the UK have upgraded to Vista, the story notes. So much for that $300 million Seinfeld campaign." A commenter on the article makes the point that Maine's signing an enterprise software license with Microsoft means that Redmond doesn't really lose out on this deal; it simply allows the state to upgrade its equipment and software on its own time.

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242 comments

Go MAINE!!! (4, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257677)

Maine has been pretty interesting in the tech field lately. Recently we told RIAA to go pound sand in their ass. Now the State is making a choice to make the best choices (as they see) concerning their upgrade cycle.

This won't actually harm Microsoft in any way but it will save Maine some money in that they won't need to work on re-training people for Vista while they wait for the upgrade to Windows 7.

As the State is currently using Windows XP (and some old Win2k servers still) they should be able to continue some level of support for the remainder of this period assuming that there aren't any major delays with Windows 7. It will be interesting to see what happens.

As a side note, I just was up and across the mountain tops in the Height of the Land checking out the foliage. Once the Sun came out it was pretty vibrant. We cheated and cut across through Byron to Weld and then took 142 back down into Phillips getting out of the tourist areas. It was a nice trip, if you're in Maine and want to see the foliage than today might have been your best shot for this area.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (5, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257741)

Recently we told RIAA to go pound sand in their ass.

THAT'S all it took to get rid of them? Man, all that wasted money on lawyers, shoulda just bought some sand.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (4, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257787)

More accurately it took a judge down in the Colby College area. There was some info on /. about it as I recall. I think NYCL posted it.

*goes to look for it*

Here you go:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/29/2259238 [slashdot.org]

(In case you can't tell, I'm a happy Maine citizen.)

Re:Go MAINE!!! (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258277)

The comment about this not having much consequence to MS is missing a very vital point: Vista was a back room deal to install locks and keys on everyones machines. They got a lot of money and a place in the new world order in exchange. Only, people are revolting, and they're not installing it like they're supposed to. Which is a big deal, because the economic systems are going to collapse, and their money isn't going to be worth shit. They're going to be irrelevant and hated. They shot big and lost.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (1)

JehCt (879940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258541)

THAT'S all it took to get rid of them? Man, all that wasted money on lawyers, shoulda just bought some sand.

Mainers are frugal!

Re:Go MAINE!!! (ot) (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257865)

Is Maine known particulary for it's foliage? It seems a rather odd thing to comment on. (By foliage you mean the leaves on the trees turning autumnal?)

Re:Go MAINE!!! (ot) (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257965)

Hell yeah. People come from across the globe to see it. Giant buses go through, people drive, people fly in and rent. Maine has potatoes, trees, lobster, fish, and tourists. Most of our income (it would appear) is from tourism and the foliage season is one of the better ones as they come in, rent a hotel, drive around without consuming many of the natural resources, and then leave having deposited their dollars to visit what would have been there anyhow.

http://mainefoliage.com/ [mainefoliage.com] (I think but you can search for "Maine Foliage" if you want.)

The area I was in today is "peak" though it isn't as good as it should have been in my opinion. My wife, from California, hasn't seen it before and it was a bit dreary for my taste. We head to places (for the most part) that aren't laden with tourists though the route we were on today (for a portion of it) is quite famous for the foliage.

I'll be grabbing some pics off the camera later. If you're actually *really* interested then spam_here *at* whathostingshould *dot* be and I'll send you the link to see them. I'll most likely be tossing them up at http://maine.kgiii.info/ [kgiii.info] but that's likely to be a while before I get to that latter stage as I have a busy night tonight while I handle the help desk as Tom is sick.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (ot) (1)

eat here_get gas (907110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258475)

my state of new hampshire does its fair share of the "autumnal display" as well. however, we think of maine mostly for its beautiful rocky shoreline (and lobsters!)...
as i'm north of the Notches (closer to Canada actually) our foliage has gone past. Matter of fact, at this moment there is 2ft of snow not more than 40 miles from my house on the Rockpile.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (ot) (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258621)

Ah it is beautiful there. I was out through Grafton Notch recently, headed into the "Rock" area and down through Conway, across towards the Castle in the Clouds, and back through Rt. 2 out of Vermont. Is the road up Mt. Washington closed yet? Given that the wind was upwards of 30 MPH gusts here in the Heights I'd have to guess that if they aren't closed with snow that they soon will be. If not then *maybe* next weekend I'll head over and grab some fireworks and make a trip up to see how it looks.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258239)

Annoying as this may be to you, you may have just convinced me to visit Maine the next time I cross the ocean...

Re:Go MAINE!!! (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258375)

Come on over. I don't care if you are annoying to me personally. Pfft. I'm not one who cares a whole lot if I dislike the person or like the person I talk to so long as the conversation is worth having. If you *are* going to come over (even on my foes list) then stop on in. We can hammered and argue the logic of our thinking in person.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258309)

My company and I are interested in going from XP to Windows 7 as well. We are paying the annual support license fee still. I guess Microsoft is not losing a dime over our decision.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (1)

Pinchiukas (828697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258359)

I think people are too confident that windows 7 will be the panacea like XP was (for windows ME at least). And don't even take the time to think of a scenario where windows is just as bad as vista or even worse for the next... 5 years. This could lead to some serious consequences.

Re:Go MAINE!!! (5, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258617)

You Mainers won't be so smug when you find out that Windows Mojave is really Vista!!!

Tipping Point (0)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257679)

In the coming flood of OS conversion, shove as much Linux or BSD down their throat as you can. This is an opening that the Open Source community cannot afford to miss.

Re:Tipping Point (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257725)

Wrong State. Maine isn't pro-anything really. We do have some Linux servers but the office workers use Windows, Office, etc... Maine isn't pro-FOSS so don't bother trying to come here with that sort of message, thanks. We're doing this to save money on training and looking ahead to Windows 7. Vista has its bugs. We're saving money by not re-training and skipping an upgrade. We're not saving the money because of skipping the OS, we're saving it by not having to re-train people for a interim OS and not having to invest in more help desk at a time when we're so strapped for cash that we have to actually avoid paving roads because of the increase in the price of asphalt.

You might want to pick another area of the country for that. Many of the politicians and IT staffers are actually decent friends of mine. While you may have some moral reason to want a State to use a FOSS solution the reality is that we're comfortable with what we have and haven't any reason to change at this time. The point is that they do not want to re-train at this time, they don't want to invest in the newer hardware (though DOJ recently got some new hardware along with DOC) that was downgraded to Windows XP Professional instead of the Vista Business that came on it originally.

Re:Tipping Point (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257959)

...we're comfortable with what we have and haven't any reason to change at this time.

Money. Less spent on MS licenses means more for useful projects.

Re:Tipping Point (4, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258047)

We're already spending it for support. This isn't your average single user license, it is a giant license. It is more cost effective (I forget the name of the program that we're using) to have this than it is to get just out of band support for a variety of licenses. It includes the ability to upgrade at any time. Contrary to popular opinion we've looked at (non-Microsoft funded) the evidence and it would appear to cost more to migrate to a different OS at this time with the support contracts, the effort involved, and the additional toll on the help desk. I'm not seeing any public documentation showing the reasoning but (and I *am* a fan of Linux in many areas) hopefully you can find something if you look hard enough.

We, as a State, do use some CentOS but at the time we were looking at RHEL and Fedora desktops. Driver issues was one of the things that abounded as the existing hardware wasn't supported entirely. As some of the departments are using older Citrix based thin clients from Wyse there were additional concerns though I don't actually recall what those concerns were.

It isn't that it couldn't be done, it is that it was cost-prohibitive to do so. It isn't that it wasn't looked at, it was, it was that it was considered more economical and a wiser choice to remain with their current choice of operating systems. Though some of the servers did migrate to CentOS and, I believe, RHEL in the case of some of the mail servers.

Re:Tipping Point (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258357)

This isn't your average single user license, it is a giant license. It is more cost effective (I forget the name of the program that we're using) to have this than it is to get just out of band support for a variety of licenses.

A friend of mine has one of those (apparently he knows someone that works at MS). He refers to it as a "Corporate License".

Contrary to popular opinion we've looked at (non-Microsoft funded) the evidence and it would appear to cost more to migrate to a different OS at this time with the support contracts, the effort involved, and the additional toll on the help desk.

Two (or three) words: Vendor Lock-In. Maybe a slow phase-in among the more tech-savvy?
Start pushing FOSS apps (if you haven't already) such as Firefox, OOo, Thunderbird, etc.

I'm not seeing any public documentation showing the reasoning but (and I *am* a fan of Linux in many areas) hopefully you can find something if you look hard enough.

I'll look around.

Driver issues was one of the things that abounded as the existing hardware wasn't supported entirely.

What about now?
And I assume you were looking at Fedora/RHEL because of the compatibility with the CentOS servers? Presumably, SLED/SUSE/openSUSE would work together equally well. Maybe their hardware support is better?

Re:Tipping Point (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258479)

Effective drivers for NICs and Wireless as well as some missing keyboard functionality on the laptops that they were going to buy. I don't have all of the specifics as it's not my job (I'm just a citizen and happen to be involved in a lot of the community programs as a civilian as well as know a bunch of the techs who work for the State having worked for them, gone to school with them, or in one case actually been his old boss) but it was not an option with the current hardware.

Later in the thread I go into details in the upgrade cycle a bit, it isn't exact but it is pretty accurate. That would be a bit revealing if you want to see it. It was Fedora/RHEL because of their support at the time. This was *probably* about 4 years ago with the conclusion being 3 years ago or so. (It would have happened, if it was going to happen, starting in 2008.)

I do enjoy the fruits of FOSS. I even contribute in a variety of ways though most of my code contributions have gone to things other than Linux directly and are usually just bug reports with the solutions I have found. I also contribute financially. It isn't that I'm a *hater* or the likes. I'm just aware that they cycle, support, benefits, and cost have made this the best choice for the state and this is a choice I agree with entirely. If, in between now and then, we look towards more Linux than we may skip Windows 7 entirely but I doubt that very much. Our citizens typically are older and have Windows computers, our staffers are already versed in Windows use, our documentation is still valid, and our documents are available (usually) in PDF format for public consumption as well as Word formats internally.

They do use Firefox but not OpenOffice though I suspect that some may actually use Thunderbird and maybe some OpenOffice products. Their work machine came with Microsoft Office and given the small size of the users they don't seem to (I'll check) mind the use of any of those products for business/state use.

Remember the Maine! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25257691)

So, I'm going to drain my Maine vein and make my bladder gladder. Whooptie DOUCHE!

M$ can bite my hairy Canadian Ass...

Soorry.

Vista- It can't be given away (4, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257701)

A commenter on the article makes the point....

Wait- Microsoft can't get people to install their flagship product, even though they've already paid for it, and the commenter's point is that this isn't bad for Microsoft?

Hilarious.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257759)

Not in the sense from the State's contract with them. Maine is going to pay regardless. We're just not upgrading to Vista. Microsoft is going to get the same amount of money from us regardless of when we upgrade.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (5, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257831)

Microsoft may still be getting the same amount of money from Maine, but "They don't want to install Vista even though they already paid for it" is the sort of PR that'll keep others from buying it.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258081)

Probably not. Retail copies of Vista are dismally slow moving off the shelves it appears. People "in the know" aren't buying it. Those buying OEM are still getting Vista. Some of them even like it. I, personally, see no reason to upgrade the OS in my home at this time. I prefer Mandriva and XP Pro. I actually doubt that anyone will notice other than us here on /. but I'll keep watching my local news (and I live in Maine in case you hadn't gathered that) to see if I hear a single mention of it.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258227)

I didn't see a reason to buy Vista until I built my newest PC. My old hardware wasn't powerful enough and lacked DX10. When I bought my E8400 and 9800GTX it was time. I went with Vista Home Premium 64 for system builders ($100 on newegg). I haven't had a single Vista related problem. Unfortunately my NIC is unsupported under linux at the moment until the next kernel rev, so I use VMware to get what I need done (Vista saves the day).

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258313)

Microsoft is going to get the same amount of money from us regardless of when we upgrade.

Are you sure about that? Big organizations (such as Universities) that have upgraded their systems to Vista have also seen an increase in their site license fees.

If you have any sources that indicate that the license fees Maine is paying now would have stayed the same if they'd gone to Vista, could you post them, please?

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258509)

Only what is in the article. I don't doubt that it will remain the same though. I can call but I doubt VERY much that I'm going to get anyone to go "on the record" with an answer. Either way, they aren't upgrading to Vista which means that it should stay the same regardless, that's kind of the point. If big organizations are upgrading to Vista and having their site license upgraded that is unimportant to this conversation really as we're not upgrading to Vista so I'm not exactly sure where you're going with that line of questioning.

tl;dr Not upgrading to Vista so comparing with organizations that upgraded to Vista doesn't make sense to me but if you have more to add I'll call and ask or see someone on Monday if it is at all important.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258019)

The same can be said about linux - people don't install it even if it's free.

Remember that for most people windows has been just as free for years, thus they don't associate a price for their operating system in the first place, as it came for free, when they bought their computer being either windows or os X.

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258189)

Even WITH the name we skipped Windows ME too. *grins* In all honesty we didn't entirely. Back then our IT was pretty haphazard and I know it ended up on some of the stenographer's desktops and, surprising, they didn't have an issue with it. There were a few systems that worked really well with ME, this is sort of a case and point if you will, and they worked just fine. Maine was buying Acer hardware that was running the AMD K62 (450 MHz as I recall) as a direct from manufacturer product that came optimized for ME as much as it could. They ran VERY well and, considering the specs, they were speedy.

As a side note a small subset of DHHS workers got ME on their laptops. Those came from Dell as I recall. Those never saw the light of day but were wiped in Augusta and Win2k was installed for most workers though some got 98se. (I worked for the Maine government off and on during those times and others but not as a government employee but as a sub-contractor. Hell, I didn't even work directly for the government but got a number of contracts through the various agencies which is a bit more accurate.)

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258161)

MS really does not give a rat's ass if you install Vista, they care that you pay'd for a Vista license and that their beancounters can add +1 into the "VISTA" column...

Re:Vista- It can't be given away (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258527)

A commenter on the article makes the point....

Wait- Microsoft can't get people to install their flagship product, even though they've already paid for it, and the commenter's point is that this isn't bad for Microsoft? Hilarious.

With the speed of financial markets today, spotlighted by the mere threat of an on-again, off-again bailout bill has shown a HUGE financial impact measured in milliseconds, I'd say Microsoft could really give a rats ass TODAY what you do with your Vista license that you "already paid for". From a financial standpoint, they're STILL laughing all the way to the bank. Somehow the barrel we're all bent over in the corporate world doesn't feel much different yet.

Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25257729)

Wow another shitty flamebait story about Vista.
When will slashdot editors start skipping them?

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25257897)

that would be never......

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258201)

> When will slashdot editors start skipping them?

In 2011, when Windows 7 will be finally released to the public.

But then you will see stories about how Windows 7 was horrible, how Vista was the best OS Microsoft has ever released and how the "failure" of Windows 7 will trigger the year of the Linux Desktop.

Re:Flamebait (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258393)

how Vista was the best OS Microsoft has ever released

Junior, I guarantee that's something you're not going to be hearing.

When Win2k came out, did you hear a lot of people saying that WinME was the "best OS Microsoft has ever released"?

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258635)

Since ME came out after 2000, it would have been hard to hear that. :)

OTOH, when XP came out, I've heard geeks complaining about how XP sucked and how 2000 was the best OS Microsoft released, and also non-geeks complaining about how XP sucked comparing to Windows 98.

Oh yeah, the "reasons" why XP "sucked" (in decreasing order of "importance") :
- Hardware compatibility.
- Software compatibility.
- Default interface (Luna).
- Activation scheme.
- Complicated and useless security enhancements (i.e. why should I use a non-administrator account since I'm the only one to use my computer ?)

To be fair I was part of the whiners at that time (especially the "activation" part, which encouraged me to look at FOSS), but it still surprises me about how history repeated itself when Vista came out.

Umm... Good Choice? (2, Insightful)

metalpres (1075199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257753)

I do think its great that states are turning down the pointless upgrade and saving some money, but they make it sound like there was no other choice. Seriously is Windows really the only OS out there? If Windows is posing such a problem that you cant even upgrade it cause its so bad why not upgrade AWAY from Windows... I just dont get it.

Re:Umm... Good Choice? (2, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257861)

Because, in all likelihood, their operations depend on a multiple of Excel macros, Word templates, Access databases, and maybe even a few web pages that require ActiveX to work.

Re:Umm... Good Choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258259)

You mean people do things other than play games in Windows?!

Re:Umm... Good Choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258493)

They sometimes look at naughty pictures, too.

Re:Umm... Good Choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258237)

Try reading the article. There you'll find the following:

More than anything, however, Maine's decision not to deploy Vista is a timing issue. "We're updating our infrastructure, so that when we do something like this we can make it universal. We were worried that, by the time we get that done, a move to Vista would be just prior to the next jump," said Thompson, referring to Microsoft's plans to release Windows 7 in 2010.

Re:Umm... Good Choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258487)

If Windows is posing such a problem that you cant even upgrade it cause its so bad why not upgrade AWAY from Windows... I just dont get it.

I don't either. I work for a schizo Fortune 50 company that moved many things internally away from Unix servers to Microsoft Windows, notably email :-(. When they got the VMS guys to do Microsoft Windows NT, they could have at least asked them for expertise in VAX/MAIL at the same time. Sigh.

It's just different. According to stuff I was told last week, they are working on moving the Microsofties towards Vista internally. The licenses have already been paid, of course, but I doubt more than a tiny fraction of the employees have "Enterprise" Vista capable notebooks and desktops. I don't.

But ... in the meantime, they ARE now allowing employees to upgrade to Macbooks.

Oh and a significant number of computers in the enterprise that have paid licensing for Microsoft Vista, cannot run it. Tell me, Microsoft astroturfers, is it really realistic to use Microsoft Vista (in a corporate environment) on a 1GB Lenovo T60?

Microsoft Windows XP runs very slow on that notebook compared to RHEL and it crashes a lot with the kinds of applications that must be run on it.

This is all good to a point (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257779)

... and that point is when Microsoft has successfully convinced hardware makers to not create Windows XP device drivers for their new hardware. This is already starting to happen. Soon, you may not have a Windows XP option of any kind when buying new hardware.

Re:This is all good to a point (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257819)

We don't actually need to upgrade hardware until a few years from now so that won't really apply in this case I'm afraid. They *did* do some hardware upgrades for mobile DOJ/DOC workers this year but downgraded to XP Pro with them in-house. Most everything (probably everything) we have should easily last a couple more years and we have a pile of spare stock should we need it.

Re:This is all good to a point (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258575)

We don't actually need to upgrade hardware until a few years from now so that won't really apply in this case I'm afraid.

The common wisdom is that you do not install a Microsoft O/S until SP2 or later (correct me if I'm wrong).

How much time was it between Microsoft Windows XP and SP2? It was about a year for Microsoft Vista to get to SP1.

So shouldn't you be like adding a year or two to the timeline to wait for the bugs to be worked out by Microsoft first?

This is a dangerous gamble (1)

iceco2 (703132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257781)

I work for an organization which decided several years ago not to upgrade its windows 2000 PCs
to XP. because the win 2000 worked and the IT staff new it well and the upgrade was expensive, show we thought we would just wait a bit for longhorn.
Now in 2008 we are still with win 2000 on many thousnds of PCs and are basiclly forced to "upgrade" to Vista.
Vista is a crummy system, but you never know what comes next?

not that its going to happen in my workplace, but I am all for moving to Linux desktop for at least most workers.

    Me.

Re:This is a dangerous gamble (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257821)

I work for an organization which decided several years ago not to upgrade its windows 2000 PCs to XP. because the win 2000 worked and the IT staff new it well and the upgrade was expensive, show we thought we would just wait a bit for longhorn. Now in 2008 we are still with win 2000 on many thousnds[sic] of PCs and are basiclly[sic] forced to "upgrade" to Vista. Vista is a crummy system, but you never know what comes next?

Linux kernel 2.8

Re:This is a dangerous gamble (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258281)

What are you running that won't run on W2K? Your software vendor can't release a W2K support patch for thousands of software installations?

microsoft has lost its tracks (2, Interesting)

Keruo (771880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257795)

Microsoft has truly lost its tracks during last 5 years.
Most of their new operating systems have been home-customer-directed teletubby-like interfaces for home-users.
Yet, 90% of Microsoft customers are corporate. Corporate customers don't care about aero or some fancy gui transparency.
Corporate customers want OS that looks and performs like windows 2000, is as secure as XP and doesn't cause excess load on their IT departments.
Vista and Office 2007 both failed miserabely with these requirements.
Office 2007 is being adopted since openoffice isn't ready just yet, but vista can be skipped since XP is good enough for 90% purposes.
Next 5 years, we'll see microsoft plummetting and losing its track even more, while linux and apple keeps gaining it's lost market share.
Once they realize they've truly lost it and try to regain monopoly, they come up with some system which is advanced enough to fulfill needs of customers for next 5 years.
Sadly, vista nor windows 7 will be that system and we corporate windows sysadmins are screw'd.
F* you microsoft for destroying my liver, since alcohol seems to be the only proper way to deal with your shit on daily basis.

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257853)

F* you microsoft for destroying my liver, since alcohol seems to be the only proper way to deal with your shit on daily basis.

The Linux and OSX addiction are pretty good though. I can't liken it to anything illicit since I don't use non-prescription drugs and I don't drink much. Maybe they are as good as a $3k/hr hooker? nah..nothing compares to sex but RHEL [wikipedia.org] is close.

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (1)

VampirePidgeon (1279486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257873)

I've heard they're releasing Microsoft Porter, which asks for your confirmation every time you want to take a swig. Seriously though, when will the notification "you will need to provide administrator privileges for this" EVER be useful?

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258295)

Every time you would have used 'sudo'.

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (5, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257921)

Maine upgraded to Office 2k7 as soon as it was available and, even with the ribbon, the help desk managed pretty easily as I understand. (I know a lot of the IT workers, a bunch of the politicians, and even regularly consume alcohol with a few of them. I will be at my DA's house tomorrow night actually as I want to talk about a buddy of mine who's in a spot of trouble.)

This is more about saying that we have "good enough." It is more about saving the money that would be involved in upgrading systems at this time when we're one broke ass state and no one wants to raise taxes. It is more about saving that money from the hardware and additional training as well as the actual labor involved.

Because the State's IT department is so small they often will hire outside contractors (I have done this) to go into a facility and upgrade/swap out and we can't afford that right now.

From my own perspective, the scary thing is that I don't know if we will be in any better a position to afford this two years from now or not. Pardon my language but, as a State, we're fucked. Our tax burden is already quite high, the lack of people driving due to the gas prices killed a lot of businesses this year, and the lack of revenue has meant that a few important things have had to have been skipped to tighten our proverbial belt.

There are a few signs that things aren't too bad but for each of those there are signs that show a much worse case. We had to cancel our paving jobs (not town or city but State jobs from the DOT) because of the costs associated with them. At the same time our banks (actually a lot of credit unions here) are still loaning money and construction hasn't taken that much of a downswing from what I have seen over the past few years. I did spend a bunch of time driving randomly across the nations and seeing things like halted motel construction across the I-10 corridor in Florida doesn't seem to equate what I'm seeing here.

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258079)

Corporate customers want OS that looks and performs like windows 2000, is as secure as XP and doesn't cause excess load on their IT departments.

It's not that hard to make XP (or even Vista) look like 2000. And I think you can even toggle the relevant settings while slipstreaming service packs so you don't need to do 30 minutes worth of tweaking afterwards on each machine.

Re:microsoft has lost its tracks (1)

tygt (792974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258397)

Not disagreeing with you, but curious:

vista can be skipped since XP is good enough for 90% purposes

When is XP not good enough?

As far as I could tell 2k was good enough until I started to play games, and I've never found anything that needed XP in the workplace.

Where is the midsize Mac desktop (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258465)

Now that MS is stalled Apple could probably pick up substantial numbers of enterprise customers if they put out a mid sized desktop spedced similar to a mini but upgradable and with heavier duty components and priced aggressively for big orders. They also ought to buy parallels outright and bundle it with 10.6, a BSD based stable desktop that will run commercial apps like Photoshop and XP at near native speeds to run MS office and IE should it be needed, what's not to like?

Since when did Slashdot get so anti-Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25257799)

^^ did I miss a meeting or something?

Re:Since when did Slashdot get so anti-Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25257979)

Hi, you must be new here.

My organisation has been doing this for years.... (4, Interesting)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257839)

We went from NT to XP, skipping 2000, and we're gonna go from XP to 7, skipping Vista.

Servers have also done the same jump, from NT to 2003 and from 2003 to Win 7 Server edition.

We do make money out of it, though, unlike Maine.

Re:My organisation has been doing this for years.. (2, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258335)

In Maine the cycle has been a lot like you describe.

94 386/486 mix with 3.1 and 95 in the middle (this was an odd one)
-- Same era -- DEC stuff still and our start of a love affair with Cisco as I recall
98 (year) to 98 (and then to 98se.)
2002 Win2k and XP
-- Same era -- Cisco prices for support kicked our ass
-- Same era -- Wyse and Citrix moved *back* in
2006 XP/Server 2k3
-- Same era -- Juniper shows up with a beautiful price (I think we run Juniper gear almost entirely in some areas now)

Here's where Microsoft screwed up... XP/2k3 is Good Enough® and for us that is a Good Thing©.

If we can still support XP we're fine until 2012 for the most part. Windows XP lasted too long. This isn't costing Microsoft any money, we're paying the same regardless. Licenses, support, and even custom hot patches are covered. We can upgrade when we want.

Our history says, 2010 and we're some staunch bastards here. We'll change when we're good and effin' ready, ayuh! We're too broke to actually afford new hardware. In the middle of these 4 year periods we've ALWAYS upgraded hardware for some departments. So, in 2008, we upgraded some. DOJ and DOC got some new hardware but it runs XP. DHHS (used to be DHS) also gets some very couple of years as they're a forward facing department.

It is my opinion that we're doing fine and that we made the right choice for this. I do believe that FOSS has a place (which is to answer the people saying that this is time to look at Vista) but that's more expensive in the short term for us. Right now we aren't able to afford a damned thing. We are one broke-ass state and the taxation is already a bit too high for some people.

There are old people in this state who are actually going to FREEZE to death this year. It will likely be under a handful of people. But we don't have the money, we aren't going to raise taxes if we can help it because that probably won't help a whole lot unless we tax the rich and we don't have a lot of those, so we can't afford a lot. The lack of income from the depreciated tourism industry is going to hurt us this winter. Oddly our gasoline is just $3.35/gallon at my local store but has still been to high to allow people to chance to come here and spend their hard earned money on our tourism and there aren't many other things left in Maine that people pay for other than lobster.

Re:My organisation has been doing this for years.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258585)

There's little value added for businesses. Certainly not enough to justify the expense of the time, hardware, and such to deploy Vista. By the time 7 rolls around the change will be a little easier to sell.

Little do they know... (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257877)

Little do they know that Windows 7 will be based on Windows Vista, in contradiction to all the nice ("completely new codebase") promises made...

Re:Little do they know... (5, Interesting)

Ralish (775196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257989)

Can you name a single reputable source that stated that Windows 7 will be based on a "completely new codebase"?

Every single source I've read, internal and external to Microsoft, has explicitly stated it is based on the Vista codebase and is a minor revision of the OS. In fact, there will be no fundamental changes to the low-level OS internals, kernel inclusive, to the point that they are aiming for Vista drivers to work just fine on Windows 7, which should alleviate the driver migration woes that plauged Vista.

I think you should get better news sources.

Re:Little do they know... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258009)

And Vista was based off Server 2003, and now shares the same codebase with Server 2008. Completely new codebase would be impossible to do. I think what they mean is that they're trying to remove the cruft from the codebase, but expecting any organization to completely rewrite their code for the next version of a major product is ridiculous.

Re:Little do they know... (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258289)

And Vista was based off Server 2003, and now shares the same codebase with Server 2008.

Not quite. Xp-64 shares the same codebase as server 2003. I might add this cut of XP is fantastic if you need a 64-bit Windows OS for work and games.

Vista and Server 2008 share the same codebase.

Re:Little do they know... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258321)

Yeah, that's what I said. Vista and 2008 share the same codebase, which was based off of the 2003 codebase. Originally Vista was separate though, in the Longhorn days, but then they needed to rush it out so they dropped what they were working on and switched to the 2003 codebase.

Re:Little do they know... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258421)

...expecting any organization to completely rewrite their code for the next version of a major product is ridiculous.

Wasn't that supposed to be exactly what was going to happen with Vista?

Another "customer" believes the BS (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257949)

Why believe that Windows 7 will be better? Wasn't that the promise of Vista?

MS has not delivered its promised features so many times that it makes no sense to believe that Windows 7 will be any different.

Re:Another "customer" believes the BS (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258255)

I think Vista's failure was a result of XP's success; Microsoft didn't have a fire in their belly to improve their product. Instead, they took the OS in a direction that Microsoft wanted, not the customer. The consumer was not the driving factor in their design decisions.

That failed, as did Vista. Now, they are working on Windows 7... the quality of their coding is not going to be particularly better or worse than, but their priorities are going to be substantially different. Another release or two that bomb as badly as Vista did, and they'll finally start to see some market shrinkage. I think they are going to be much more focused on the consumer on the next release.

Give me a good reason they _need_ Vista (1)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258005)

I understand users wanting the newest and greatest, I am like that a lot. I own a Mac Pro which is totally overboard for what I do, but I do it because I can. Home users will always want the newest stuff.

However, when you are talking about a large organization. Upgrading has to be for a reason. Hardware becomes faster, that's a good reason to upgrade. Application x gives new features that our users actually need, then its a good reason to upgrade.

But seriously, what does Vista provide that XP doesn't ? I can't think of a single thing that would justify the cost of upgrading all their hardware to upgrade to a newer OS that doesn't provide anything more for them. I think they made the right call.

I think Microsoft needs to wake up and realize that companies will upgrade when there is a reason to upgrade. Just releasing a new version isn't enough, it needs some major benefit.

Side note: It is starting to seem like Windows 7 is just going to be Vista "rebranded".

Re:Give me a good reason they _need_ Vista (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258113)

Security.
Vista provides a vast amount of more, Unix-like, security that XP does not have built-in.

Now I can run standalone programs without worrying about them installing malware or messing with my system files behind my back, on the other hand if it asks me for administrator privileges then I know something is up.
Unfortunately though most people just turn this feature off (UAC) without realizing just how much of a protection it is and then they bitch about how Windows is insecure.
I still don't think Window's built-in security features are as good as that of Linux/Unix/BSD but it is still a huge improvement over XP and earlier.

Honestly though I don't think people are in as much of a rush to upgrade because the jump from Windows XP to Vista isn't as huge as the one from 9x/ME to XP.

Wise - After 1 year of Vista am longing for a Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258025)

I can completely understand their decision. After using Vista for one year, I'm now seriously thinking of getting a Mac for xMas.

The UI is the only good part of Vista but once the novelty wears off one starts to notice all the annoying issues, such as:

- Shutdown, boot, login cycle takes forever (5 minutes)
- Slow to go into sleep
- Explorer and Desktop sometimes freeze for a while
- Dhcp network config occasionally fails, need restart afterwards
- Baseline memory consumption: 1 GB RAM (!)
- Terrible support for bluetooth headsets

Considering it took several years to develop Vista, I wonder what the heck they have been doing all this time...

Cost effectiveness (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258037)

Wouldn't it be more cost effective for the State of Maine, and similar organizations to put half of the money that they put into Microsoft into building, by way of contractors, a shared, possibly open, solution on a less expensive platform over which they may have more control? This seems especially likely as I doubt that these organizations are actively competing against each other, at least not in a way where sharing an IT solution to be of negative impact to them.

Re:Cost effectiveness (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258127)

Yeah, if only there had been someone building an open source OS that is less expensive than Microsoft Windows. I think I'd call it.... Lin... lin.... Linux!

Re:Cost effectiveness (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258221)

It really doesn't even have to be Linux, however, if done well, it would probably get ported to Linux.

Re:Cost effectiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258157)

In moments like these, you just have to appreciate China's solution [redflag-linux.com] .

Support personnel suffer (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258153)

MS is supposed to superior because it is not tied to a particular hardware, and has many programs to allow an average person to be trained in development and support. These people can then go out into the market and make a living supporting MS products. THe issue is of course is that when depends on MS products, one also depends on MS developing new products that grow the market. In this case we see that vista should have been a boon for developers and support people. But no, MS still gets the licensing fees, but support personnel do not get employed upgrading the machines. On the other hand, businesses do not want to spend money and disrupt business simply because MS needs to increase profits

This is why I think single source is bad for business, and why *nix is a good option for worker drone machines that do not require specific applications. It is not like support persons cannot learn basic *nix, and users cannot learn OO.org instead of MS Office. I know there are some MS Exchange issues, but those are going away. What does the average lose when they move to *nix? The ability to change a background on the desktop with one click? The ability to download and play games? Sure flash may not work perfectly, but that is not a long term detterent.

Big loss for Microsoft?!?!?! (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258173)

Maine not upgrading to Vista. Well, there goes 5 licenses down the drain. Call me when California or New York make this decision. Going back to sleep...

Re:Big loss for Microsoft?!?!?! (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258175)

Wow I didn't know you could get away with only 5 licenses for 110,000 machines. Is there some loophole I missed in Microsoft's licensing contracts?

Re:Big loss for Microsoft?!?!?! (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258557)

I'm not sure if this is true today and I'm unable to find a source but at one time (2000) it was reported that Maine had more people online (per capita) than any other state and many countries. It is due to the fact that we have nothing to do all winter I'd always expected. People seem to forget this. They are also usually unaware that FTTH started as a roll-out in Maine from Oxford Networks/GWI in the Lewiston/Auburn area.

Hey (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258185)

Is windows XP still getting security updates? If it is not I hope some nasty viri come down the line and wipe out everything with no fix in site. That would be pretty cool I think Also as I am sure most of you know, windows 7 is going to be much worse than vista. lulz will ensure for many more years to come. This brings a smile to my face.

Re:Hey (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258205)

Yeah because those security updates really made it so viruses were impossible to write for XP it was still receiving active support.

Vista is a disaster. (2, Interesting)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258197)

I work for a Very Large Telecom. Nobody is running Vista. It would be too expensive in hardware, training and support. We can do our jobs just fine with XP on cheaper hardware.

Like most, we are 100% Microsoft on the desktop and there are no alternative we can switch to quickly. Exchange and AD are too entrenched. I have a feeling CTO's at some companies see this risk and are evaluating "other options." The problem is the propriety enterprise packages are tried and true on Windows, and it's too expensive to replace all that infrastructure.

Microsoft might force consumers to buy Vista, but I doubt it'll happen for large companies. It would make a lot of people very angry and force large companies to pressure the Enterprise software vendors to write Mac or Linux clients.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Microsoft force their hand, but it could be their undoing if they did.

Re:Vista is a disaster. (1)

cfryback (870729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258469)

Work for a local council. No Vista (I do the desktop SOE, so no Vista - even though we have hardware capable of Vista (without Areo and Glass). We're JUST migrating to XPP SP3 from W2K SP4 on the desktop. We are now 100% an MS shop, thankfully we have downgrade rights on EVERYTHING MS. For those cyborgs that think Linux is the answer - pull your heads in a bit, would ya? Seriously, we have end users that can barely type a password. The first one that says "Run you apps under WINE" deserves a slap! Yes, I do agree Vista is evil, as I have upgraded a fair few latops that people have bought to XP.

2010? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258377)

Somehow, I am not very sure MS will keep the deadline.

OTOH, they have announced they are slimming it down to a bare minimum and pushing their downloadable stuff instead.

It's fun to watch how buzzword-compliant they are. "Multi-touch" and "Cloud" are terms they constantly associate with their future product line. It's textbook vaporware tactics at work.

Go Directly To Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258499)

Do they get to collect $200?

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25258577)

I think there should be a movement to switch all government computers to Linux. It's about time the government stopped sponsoring corporations such as Microsoft when there is a free and better solution to the problem.

Such a huge disaster... OH WAIT (3, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25258637)

Window Vista is such a huge disaster for Microsoft, considering that since it's release, it has consistently sold more than Windows XP in the same timeframe since it's release (ie. amount of sales after 1 year of being on the market for both XP and Vista, after 2 years, etc etc). Truly a horrible mistake one would never want to repeat. Oh wait, nevermind.

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