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Dell Warns of Vista Upgrade Challenges

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the if-not-putting-on-the-brakes-at-least-getting-off-the-accelerator dept.

Windows 287

Mattaburn writes with a story up on ZDNet UK reporting that Dell is warning businesses of the migration challenges that lie ahead as they move to Vista. The article notes what an unusual step it is for a company of Dell's size to be "toning down its sales pitch for Microsoft's Vista operating system" — particularly because "one of the issues the hardware vendor is warning business about is the extra hardware they will need to buy." Quoting: "'They need to be looking at the number of images they will be installing and the size of these images,' said Dell's European client services business manager, Niall Fitzgerald. 'A 2GB image for each user will have a big impact.'"

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287 comments

Gore's Son Fails Challenge - Prefers Smoking Pot (0, Offtopic)

ReidMaynard (161608) | about 7 years ago | (#19753815)

Globaltics [globaltics.net] Global Political Discussion running on slashcode

Re:Gore's Son Fails Challenge - Prefers Smoking Po (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754277)

There are few feelings worse than waking up in jail knowing that you are facing drug charges. I hope for his sake that he isn't facing a felony.

Al Gore III's victim was not available for comment because smoking pot is a victim-less crime.

Just say no to fascism.

Nobody posts on teh website you are spamming. Can we just discuss this here?

hmmm ... (0, Flamebait)

polar red (215081) | about 7 years ago | (#19753863)

This sounds like a way to boost hardware sales.

So.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19753897)

From the TFA..
"We are not here to promote Microsoft and tell people they should buy it. We can show them the advantages of Vista and what they need to put in place to begin to move across. "

"Vista is big and complex and there is a lot to it. It requires a lot of testing. You can't just shut off XP on Friday and start Vista on Monday morning. There will be training. There are things to learn."

and then..

"However, he still thinks that business should go ahead with the migration and not wait for Microsoft to release its first service pack."
He wants clients to upgrade to Vista, buy new hardware AND not blame Dell if any thing goes wrong.

Re:So.. (2, Interesting)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | about 7 years ago | (#19755375)

I run a small business

I hear the word Vista and I cringe. There is no way I would ever switch over. XP works on all our machines without upgrades. I just don't see enough (any) benefit to moving to vista and we won't be doing it.

I can't imagine the head aches for a large corporation trying to move. Wow. Crazy. I'll say it again. Wow.

Re:hmmm ... (4, Interesting)

Nijika (525558) | about 7 years ago | (#19753901)

Or is it a hedge against a rush of demand with supply failing causing clients to go to other sources than Dell? Imagine you've got 1000000 computers and 2000000 sticks of 512MB RAM. Then comes Vista. That's an oversimplification, but I believe it's also quite valid. It would be better to stagger the upgrades than lose clients to other vendors that might have the supplies to serve demands faster.

Re:hmmm ... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 7 years ago | (#19754193)

Imagine you've got 1000000 computers and 2000000 sticks of 512MB RAM. Then comes Vista.

That's perhaps not the best example [slashdot.org] .

Re:hmmm ... (3, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about 7 years ago | (#19754385)

Imagine you've got 1000000 computers and 2000000 sticks of 512MB RAM. Then comes Vista.

That's a million PCs. With the amount of money required to license and maintain the beast called Vista on a million PCs, I'd rather pay RedHat or Canonical to give me a customised OS for the lot - and switch over to Web-based apps. Yes, it's a big ask... .but it would be a one-time investment, and one single learning curve.

By the time it takes to get a million users get trained on UAC, IE7, Office 2007 and the support guys figure out how to get these running... the CIO could confdently move to Phase 2 with Linux-based web services, CRM, Business Intelligence etc. The army of MCSEs can be sent to Dell to support unfortunate CIOs stuck with Vista.

Re:hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19753993)

Fish, barrel, shotgun. What could be easier!

so what will this mean... (2, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 7 years ago | (#19753865)

...for companies when Microsoft stops supporting XP?

Re:so what will this mean... (1, Troll)

Half a dent (952274) | about 7 years ago | (#19753953)

Probably just increased hardware costs for Vista capable PCs rather than Linux on the desktop but we can still hope.

Re:so what will this mean... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754123)

yeah, keep on talking up this same old shit that's been going around for years. when it comes down to it linux is just as muc bloatware as windows is anymore.

Re:so what will this mean... (0, Offtopic)

jack455 (748443) | about 7 years ago | (#19755015)

I had Firefox running on a 486dx66 earlier this year thanks to Fluxbox on Linux. The kernel, desktop, and apps were all current versions. Once it finally booted it was pleasantly responsive. No version of Windows could run a current browser usably on this machine.

It's not apples to apples (excuse the pun) but my 700MHz ibook runs Fedora Core 6 w/ KDE much better than my 1.2 GHz IBM thinkpad does w/ Windows XP. XP Service Pack 2 is much older than Fedora Core 6. They run many of the same apps; Fire Fox, The GIMP, etc. I'll admit that PPC processors were faster than AMD and Intel, but not that much.

Re:so what will this mean... (5, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | about 7 years ago | (#19754209)

By the time Microsoft stops supporting XP, the costs for hardware will probably have dropped to the point where Vista capable hardware is affordable.

Re:so what will this mean... (5, Informative)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | about 7 years ago | (#19753995)

According to this [microsoft.com] , MS will continue to support XP until April 8, 2014. I'm sure most companies will be into Vista long before that date comes.

Re:so what will this mean... (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19754047)

If ReactOS isn't a drop-in replacement for XP by 2014, the developers will have a lot of explaining to do.

Re:so what will this mean... (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | about 7 years ago | (#19754117)

Ony another 7 years of linux on the desktop to go untill then.

On the other hand, it could be worse - we could be waiting for the Hurd...

Re:so what will this mean... (4, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 7 years ago | (#19754401)

...for companies when Microsoft stops supporting XP?
Nothing. Just because M$ stops its support, does NOT mean the OS will stop in its tracks. Companies are still successfully using DOS, Win 3.1, Win 95 and Win 98. These OSes have long been out of support, but in each of their own cases, the task they are accomplishing is probably still be accomplished just as effectively.

Re:so what will this mean... (1)

KenRH (265139) | about 7 years ago | (#19754729)

...for companies when Microsoft stops supporting XP?

Nothing. Just because M$ stops its support, does NOT mean the OS will stop in its tracks. Companies are still successfully using DOS, Win 3.1, Win 95 and Win 98. These OSes have long been out of support, but in each of their own cases, the task they are accomplishing is probably still be accomplished just as effectively.

Exactly...

The one problem you face is that you will not get any fixes for security holes anymore. So if your machine is connected to the internet your are f**ked. Even behind a firewall you are in trouble if users is surfing the web or reading email.

On the other hand if your machine does its job and does not need a internet connection no need to upgrade.

Re:so what will this mean... (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 7 years ago | (#19754637)

Oh, oh, I know!! It means that 2014 will be the year of linux desktops!!!1! [/sarcasm]
No, seriously, pretty much nothing. They will probably upgrade to vista waaaay before 2014. It's not like XP is problem-free, and Vista is the opposite.

Tell me about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19753877)

Am currently running a Vista Test on our infrastructure - HW needs to be updated all over the place - most important feature to the management team.. AERO.. who cares if IE7 breaks all of our corporate applications :s

Aero needs 400m transistors? (0)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 7 years ago | (#19754015)

Common, the desktop of vista barely scratches 1999 Quake levels of 3D complexity.

Do we see exploding windows, with 10000 particles? no.

At most windows vista is just an opengl style desktop with lame transparent bits that no one cares for. and a dozen 3d rectangles with textures, nothing
that a $39 video card or anything post 2003 can do easy.

Sure if you have some old crap compaq 800mhz box from 2002 its not going to cut it. Upgrade dudes.

Re:Aero needs 400m transistors? (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 7 years ago | (#19754109)

yeah, but don't forget, most people aren't running quake and office at the same time. The graphics complexity is because it has to be very quick at what appears, and it has to retain that quickness regardless of what the user is up to. That becomes a very heavy task with say, 88% cpu load and 10 windows open, and you drag something,etc.

Re:Aero needs 400m transistors? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 7 years ago | (#19755281)

That's why the video card has a seperate procesor (actually, many parrellized ones). The CPU cost is probably less than before because instead of the CPU filling pixels (like in WinXP), it tells the graphics card to do so.

Re:Aero needs 400m transistors? (1)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | about 7 years ago | (#19754139)

ok - so how much does it cost to purchase and install 65,000 $39 video cards? - sure about 2.5 mil just to buy them - however its much easier to buy new hardware and not have to worry that in 6months time people will start complaining about memory / processor / disk space etc and it all needs replacing anyway!

Re:Tell me about it (1)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | about 7 years ago | (#19754059)

me too - Aero is the least important feature as far as I am concerned - most of the management in my company have brand spanking new hardware anyway and instead of feeding back on performance of applications the just go on about how nice it looks on their new Tablet Laptop! whilst they enjoy watching their stocks and share prices rising in the sidebar :) they are so far removed from the end users that they cannot understand why other people are complaining that its slow to boot and work with - we are looking at refreshing the vast majority of our estate to enable us to deploy vista - which will not be cheap or painless - keeps me in employment though :)

Welcome this!!! (2, Interesting)

b1ufox (987621) | about 7 years ago | (#19753899)

Its a good thing actually to prevent vendor lock in.

Lets hope this makes people think about Ubuntu atleast :-).

Competition is good, for a technological ecosystem and this is an example of it. Ultimately finally customers benefit and are more free to choose.

Re:Welcome this!!! (3, Informative)

Jaaay (1124197) | about 7 years ago | (#19754601)

Ubuntu is a very nice OS. The problem is with stuff that doesn't work. Most stuff you buy right out of the box will work on XP and might work on Vista if you're lucky :) Of course in one year everything will probably work on Vista that you can buy off the shelf. The problem stays the same with Ubuntu that reverse-engineered drivers may or may not work. When I installed Ubuntu I had hardware that had some user-created drivers which I selected and they didn't work. Until big companies care enough to make sure all their devices ship with official drivers there's going to be problems getting the masses to look at stuff like Ubuntu.

Not stupid at all (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 years ago | (#19753903)

By giving an advice which is not intended to generate more sales in the short term, Dell just boosted their credibility with the CEO's, CIO's, CTO's and other non-technical people who'll decide which brand to buy the next time they need to upgrade their 10,000+ PC's.
The nice thing about big businesses like Dell, is that they have a lot to lose; keeps them at a certain level of honesty. ...Unless they get IBM or MS size, in which case dishonesty isn't punished because people will buy from them no matter what.

Re:Not stupid at all (0, Troll)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#19754129)

If I ever become CEO of my company (whatever, that didn't come out quite right) I'm soooo firing people for buying IBM and MS ;-)
-nB

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#19754223)

And exactly that stance will make that you'll never become the CEO of the company your work for....

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#19754339)

please tell me you knew I was referencing the "no one gets fired for buying IBM" joke...

It's early, maybe my brain isn't on yet after last night (I know my hearing isn't)

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#19754429)

Of course I knew.... I've been on slashdot.org long enough, and I heard it before in the mid-80s when my dad worked in IT at a bank.

Get that first coffee (better: a whole pot of coffee) and the day will look brighter (okay, better avoid bright light, but you understand what I mean)

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#19754531)

Funny thing is, I don't want to be CEO, heck I don't want to be CxO at all. Sure the money is good, but the stress levels are such that it ain't worth it to me. My place is in an R&D lab. It's where I'm happy, the money is good enough (barely, but we're surviving), and I can reasonably expect to leave my work at work on most days.

-nB

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#19754763)

As my nick reveals, I'm a Corporate Troll^WDrone. I'd cut my right hand to get a job in R&D. The money is okay, but I made more as a teacher. *sigh* Wouldn't want to be a CxO either, but that was part of my point. You only get to these positions if you go along with the company, and fighting Microsoft or IBM ain't gonna get you there.

Well, you can become a CxO and fight Microsoft and IBM, but you'd have to start your own company ;-) I did think doing that at one point in time, but the laws in my country are so biased in direction of craftmanships that in order to actually exchange a harddisk in a server for a customer, I'd need an electrician license. A license that is only obtained by studying thee years full time. I have a friggin Computer Science degree, but changing a harddisk is out for me. (At least not legally) So founding a company is out for me.

I'm sorry, we're straying offtopic....

To be on topic and in slashdot spirit: Vista iz da Sukc!

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Billosaur (927319) | about 7 years ago | (#19755285)

I take it you don't intend on ever becoming a CEO then? A company has to buy products/services that meet its requirements -- if that means they buy from MS or IBM, so be it. And most CEOs are not in the habit of overturning the judgments of their technical people -- they are interested in the big picture of the company as a whole, not the minutia of day-to-day operations. The don't care what hardware/software is used, as long as it runs, works, and they don't have to hear about it from shareholders.

Re:Not stupid at all (0)

jkrise (535370) | about 7 years ago | (#19754263)

By giving an advice which is not intended to generate more sales in the short term, Dell just boosted their credibility with the CEO's, CIO's, CTO's and other non-technical people who'll decide which brand to buy the next time they need to upgrade their 10,000+ PC's.

If someone managing 10,000 PCs (not PC's - no need for the apostrophe, OK?) consults Dell on technology matters, said manager ought to be sacked. Dell is primarily a mail order company, a front for Microsoft, and one which goes out of the way to shill for them.

Take a look at this other Dell contribution on ZDNet [ziffdavis.com] , and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

This page [dell.com] is also very illuminating - it tells a CIO all he needs to know about Dell's competence on technology matters:

The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you dont get a Windows® operating system. If youre here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link.
No self-respecting CIO would turn to Dell for any advice.

Praytell.... (3, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#19754363)

Praytell why a CIO would be looking at a home and home office computer page?

Dell doesn't offer Ubuntu for corporate customers, but they have offered RHEL for quite some time, and don't make the insinuation you pointed out. However, on a 'home and home office' page, this is very important to do, as you can't expect Joe Blow to just know Ubuntu from anything else.

Re:Praytell.... (1, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 7 years ago | (#19754469)

Praytell why a CIO would be looking at a home and home office computer page?

Because if he were a real CIO managing 10,000 computers, he ought to know that Home, Home Basic, Home Advanced, Home Ultimate and Home Wet Dream are just a way of confusing buyers, and preventing them from becoming tech-savvy. It tells a lot about the psychology of Dell, and it's unthinking gullible customers. In short, it tells the CIO he shouldn't be trusting Dell for any tech advice.

Re:Praytell.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754669)

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Praytell.... (1)

johnw (3725) | about 7 years ago | (#19754829)

Praytell why a CIO would be looking at a home and home office computer page?
Perhaps because even CIOs have homes?

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 7 years ago | (#19754559)

If someone managing 10,000 PCs (not PC's - no need for the apostrophe, OK?) consults Dell on technology matters, said manager ought to be sacked. Dell is primarily a mail order company, a front for Microsoft, and one which goes out of the way to shill for them.

Of course they don't, but that isn't what was being said. Tech managers should know their stuff.

As somebody who is pretty out of the loop but at least knows the basics (well, on a consumer level - I know more about designing than buying), I cringe when I'm in a store and I hear some tech explaining something all wrong or clearly are talking out of their A$$.

What I mean is, I might not take advice from Dell, but I am more likely to trust them to make good decisions regarding hardware etc if they seem to know what they're talking about. It is credibility for product, not credibility for advice.

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

jkrise (535370) | about 7 years ago | (#19754671)

As somebody who is pretty out of the loop but at least knows the basics (well, on a consumer level - I know more about designing than buying), I cringe when I'm in a store and I hear some tech explaining something all wrong or clearly are talking out of their A$$.

What I mean is, I might not take advice from Dell, but I am more likely to trust them to make good decisions regarding hardware etc if they seem to know what they're talking about. It is credibility for product, not credibility for advice.
We are not talking about newbies who just know the basics, we are talking about people managing 10,000+ PCs across multiple locations, delivering critical IT services across the enterprise. Such CIOs ought not trust a company like Dell, given their lack of competence on technology issues. Dell was, is and will continue to be a marketing company - much like Microsoft. It can never ever (in the foreseeable future) transition into a technology company. Sane CIOs wouldn't be asking Dell for tech advice... least of all, about Microsoft software. Why not talk to Microsoft themselves? With 10,000 PCs locked down with MSware, it's a lot easier dealing with them directly. NOT DELL!!

Re:Not stupid at all (1)

Stringer Bell (989985) | about 7 years ago | (#19754305)

Dell's already the 800 lb. gorilla of PC sales. Businesses are already pretty much buying from them no matter what. Where else is an enterprise-size company to turn for thousands of PCs? Acer? IBM? Hewlett Packard? Dell:PCs::Google:Search Engines. How much more influence do they need before they turn dishonest?

You mean HP? (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | about 7 years ago | (#19754387)

Wait for SP1 (5, Insightful)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | about 7 years ago | (#19753907)

While Fitzgerald accepted that some business are holding back from migrating to Vista, he denied that there is a widespread feeling that it is better to wait for Service Pack 1. "I have heard that, and I don't buy it," Fitzgerald said. "It used to be a thing people did, and it might have been the case with, say, Windows 2000, but not now."

I would disagree. My company's IT department waited until they felt that IE7 was stable and patched enough for a rollout to start offering it. Most of the "techies" that I know think the same thing about Vista. That the really big reasons for not upgrading will be fixed after SP1.

Why not ignore it. (5, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | about 7 years ago | (#19753959)

Most of the "techies" that I know think the same thing about Vista.

Why do they even want to upgrade?

I'm on XP Pro and I have absolutely no desire or see any reason to upgrade to Vista. And from what I've seen so far about Vista, my next hardware purchase will not have Vista on it.

Re:Why not ignore it. (2, Insightful)

stevey (64018) | about 7 years ago | (#19754005)

I'm on XP Pro and I have absolutely no desire or see any reason to upgrade to Vista. And from what I've seen so far about Vista, my next hardware purchase will not have Vista on it.

That is how I felt about Windows 2000, when I was working with it.

It is amazing how much it feels like history repeating itself. Windows 2000 was one of the better releases of Windows, and certainly the only one I'd use now if I had to use windows at all. (Assuming hardware support.)

Re:Why not ignore it. (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | about 7 years ago | (#19754081)

Most of the "techies" that I know think the same thing about Vista.

Why do they even want to upgrade?

I'm on XP Pro and I have absolutely no desire or see any reason to upgrade to Vista. And from what I've seen so far about Vista, my next hardware purchase will not have Vista on it.


Should've clarified: I was talking about businesses upgrading. It seems that the companies are set on sticking with MS, so the thought is hopefully they will wait until after SP1 to start upgrading.

That said, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Vista has made me start looking at the different flavors of Linux.

My mistake - not yours. (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | about 7 years ago | (#19754439)

Should've clarified: I was talking about businesses upgrading. It seems that the companies are set on sticking with MS, so the thought is hopefully they will wait until after SP1 to start upgrading.

Are these folks on one of Microsoft's licensing plans where they have to upgrade?

I'm coming from ignorance here - not trying to give you a hard time. I am not sure why the corporate guys have to upgrade. I can only guess it's because of the licensing thing I've mentioned or their PHB is telling them to. Or are there other reasons?

Re:My mistake - not yours. (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | about 7 years ago | (#19754619)

Are these folks on one of Microsoft's licensing plans where they have to upgrade?

I'm coming from ignorance here - not trying to give you a hard time. I am not sure why the corporate guys have to upgrade. I can only guess it's because of the licensing thing I've mentioned or their PHB is telling them to. Or are there other reasons?


No worries. I'm not feeling like you are giving me a hard time (yet) ;^)

Anything non-MS over here scares all the execs. They seem to upgrade whenever MS tells them to, so maybe they are on some kind of licensing plan. I don't know for sure. We just got Office 2007 pushed on us, when 2003 was working just fine. It just seems like a waste of money and time to me, in addition to introducing potential problems.

Re:Wait for SP1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754237)

So does that mean all the DRM and bloat will be gone with SP1?

And no one say "Oh, that's the same thing people said about XP." Because XP was modestly stable (For Win32) just slightly ahead of 2000, had a better gaming API than 2000 & ME, and was a breath of fresh air after the bullshit of using 9x/ME. The only negative was activation. Vista is cosmetic for the most part. No one needs to upgrade to Vista, point blank. DirectX 10 is a joke (A lot of the new features are in OpenGL & other Free kits) and how are you going to get a ton of performance when the OS is sapping 320MiB+ of RAM?

But this is very good on Dell's front. Helps stop HP from getting all the money, and really boosts their credibility.

Oh, and SPs seem to be coming quicker now; before Vista came to retail, SP1 was already being tested. And plus, since Vista's replacement will come in 2009, who the fuck really cares about another ME? (ME was just like Vista. Right in the middle of two updates, with maybe one or two decent ideas, but all-around fucked-up to get that extra 200$)

Re:Wait for SP1 (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 years ago | (#19754477)

It's just prudent. Why be on the bleeding edge, unless it gives you some kind of competitive advantage? Vista is a nice upgrade, but hardly the sort that would give you much of a competitive advantage.

Re:Wait for SP1 (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19754691)

I would disagree with you. IE7 has been stable since I first installed it, as has Vista. No crashes, no weirdness.

What exactly are your "big reasons" for not upgrading?

Re:Wait for SP1 (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | about 7 years ago | (#19754771)

What exactly are your "big reasons" for not upgrading?

Driver and application compatibility issues for starters. A business needs to look at all sorts of things like that before they go jumping into something as huge as an OS migration. We use a lot of older apps from smaller companies geared specifically towards certain tasks that we do on a daily basis. That is in addition to some apps that S&P has cooked up to make some mundane tasks much easier to handle. All that together seems to be a big obstacle in the way of migration right now.

Re:Wait for SP1 (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19755417)

Drivers are the responsiblity of the vendor, so are applications.

What exactly are the changes that you saw in SP1 that would fix either of those issues?

I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (4, Interesting)

simong (32944) | about 7 years ago | (#19753917)

But by '2GB image' does it mean deploying a new Ghost image for machine upgrades or builds? And would desktops be deployed in place across an office network or on a dedicated replication network? I would say that that is a logistics problem - the greater problem is the migration training.

Re:I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19753965)

I would imagine this is referring to server-based home directories (aka roaming profiles).

Re:I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (4, Informative)

BKX (5066) | about 7 years ago | (#19754147)

Sort of. You see, Dell makes one installation, updates it, and installs they're crapware. Then they sysprep it (with the appropriate answer file) and reboot into some other OS (Linux, maybe, since it has the tools to deal with this. It could be Windows based as well, like BartPE or even some bootable form of partition magic. It could be something highly modified but I doubt it. They rarely have to do this, so I'm quite sure that they only have a couple of people who can, and those people probably don't care so much about optimizing the procedure. It really doesn't matter, anyway.) In this alternative environment, they shrink down their clean, sysprepped image to as small as it can get. This is the image they put out on every hard disk they ship. The only thing that's differs between shipped disks is the partition table between hard disk sizes.

Anyway, during the mini-install on first boot, Windows will automatically resize the filesystem to fill the partition it's on. Because of that feature, Dell only needs one image for all HD sizes, and it can be ridiculously small. The smaller the better, in fact, so that it takes less to write that image to all 8 billion of the HDs they ship. Although I'm quite sure they have specialized hardware and software for this, it still takes time to write out the OS image, and 2GB for Vista is four times longer that 500MB for XP.

Re:I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | about 7 years ago | (#19754153)

Training might be the main problem for secretaries or C**, who only use Office, outlook and IE and would need a few weeks to learn that the next iteration works almost exactly as the previous one.
For people like us, the big problem would be the dozens of small or specialized apps (homemade, third parties or FOSS) we use on reagular basis in our work that refuse to work on Vista and for which there is not yet a working alternative.

Re:I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754247)

"I'm not familiar with Windows deployment"

Analogy: "Pick a spoon and take a part of mashed potato. Then slam that as fast as u can to a plate. Its gonna make a MESS right? Its gonna be hard to RE-ARRANGE that right? The only way is to clean the WHOLE plate right?"

Don't deploy mashed potato like that at home kids.

Re:I'm not familiar with Windows deployment (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 7 years ago | (#19754517)

They must mean RAM as just XP + office is over 1gb

Just wondering (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 7 years ago | (#19753919)

Did you not have to upgrade your hardware to run XP back in 2001?

Re:Just wondering (0)

mrjb (547783) | about 7 years ago | (#19753987)

Did you not have to upgrade your hardware to run XP back in 2001? No. I didn't have to run XP so I didn't have to upgrade.

Re:Just wondering (2, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | about 7 years ago | (#19754275)

At my previous work, I switched from NT4 to 2K in 2005 after a very painfull and expensive 2 years migration effort (almost every program or third party library had to be upgraded and large parts of our code in both production and tool apps needed heavy changes).
The main reason for the migration was that we couldn't buy NT4 licenses anymore, 2K superiority being very marginal in the decision.

Re:Just wondering (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 7 years ago | (#19754007)

Nope. XP ran perfectly fine on my 512MB 900MHz Duron Windows 98SE machine back in 2001. Of course, I've upgraded the machine since then, but it handled XP with no problems.

Re:Just wondering (1)

zakeria (1031430) | about 7 years ago | (#19754219)

I'm still running a 64MB 350Mhz CPU, standard video card XP machine and it works great for what I use it for! also running a huge fujitsu H250 with 8G/ram and 2 2.8Ghz 2M/L3 cache CPUs, Geforce Nvidia FX5200/128MB video card with Gentoo/KDE and its not so sweet? So I'm planing on installing Vista on this machine just for comparison.

Migration... (5, Informative)

Jaaay (1124197) | about 7 years ago | (#19753945)

The hidden migration problem is with multi-billion dollar companies who you'd assume would update their drivers. When I upgraded to vista I had to use xp drivers for my current model HP laserjet with a workaround I found searching on google. This is the kind of unprofessional stuff that companies wont be doing so waiting probably makes sense because a lot of equipment you can buy now brand new still has no drivers.

Re:Migration... (3, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | about 7 years ago | (#19754353)

HP? You mean that same company that releases printer drivers which can't run as restricted user in Windows 2000?

Yeah, I had REALLY expected them to release Vista drivers on time.

Re:Migration... (1)

weicco (645927) | about 7 years ago | (#19755225)

Yes, HP is unprofessional. I don't buy their products anymore.

Why bother? (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | about 7 years ago | (#19753975)

I'm hard-pressed to think of ANY reason for companies to "upgrade" to Vista.

What does it offer to businesses? The improved security is irrelevant in a corporate environment, because companies have everything locked-down pretty tightly already.

Beyond that, there isn't much Vista does better than XP. At some point, businesses will HAVE to upgrade, of course, but didn't Microsoft say that Vista's successor is only 2 years away? That's not a very long time. I imagine most businesses are just going to stick with XP until they just can't make it work on new hardware anymore.

Microsoft reached a plateau with Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It's going to be harder and harder for them to convince people they need a new operating system.

Re:Why bother? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 7 years ago | (#19754155)

I'm hard-pressed to think of ANY reason for companies to "upgrade" to Vista. What does it offer to businesses?

A support contract from Microsoft. When they pay for Windows support companies are basically tied to Microsoft's product lifecycle. These companies don't want to be on XP once Microsoft drops the level of support (e.g. patches, unlimited support calls, etc.).

Also, many companies signed that licensing deal that Microsoft introduced years ago to spread the cost of upgrades over time. So these companies basically paid for the software long before it was released. I'm sure some CTOs feel obligated to upgrade regardless of the quality.

Re:Why bother? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 years ago | (#19754197)

I'm hard-pressed to think of ANY reason for companies to "upgrade" to Vista.

Two words: Software Assurance. Some companies have already paid extra in their last license to get a discount on Vista. Whether that move saves them money in the long is really determined by the circumstances of each company. I would think that the TCO would have been lower had they waited for Vista's successor.

Re:Why bother? (4, Insightful)

Half a dent (952274) | about 7 years ago | (#19754241)

"Beyond that, there isn't much Vista does better than XP. At some point, businesses will HAVE to upgrade, of course, but didn't Microsoft say that Vista's successor is only 2 years away? That's not a very long time. I imagine most businesses are just going to stick with XP until they just can't make it work on new hardware anymore."

We originally said the same thing about XP - that we would stick with 2000 and skip a version then Microsoft released Vista and we're upgrading to XP while we can.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 7 years ago | (#19754315)

What does it offer to businesses? The improved security is irrelevant in a corporate environment, because companies have everything locked-down pretty tightly already.


Uh, no they don't. Although lot of them do, and it's very costly, often done incorrectly and incompletely, and a constant headache. Of course, Vista's security model isn't really the right answer to that particular problem... but hey, if you like sending your money to Redmond and you just can't stop, it'll keep you wedded to Windows for another upgrade cycle.

Re:Why bother? (2, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | about 7 years ago | (#19754855)

I'm hard-pressed to think of ANY reason for companies to "upgrade" to Vista.

Support. Hardware manufacturers, 3rd party software developers, and Microsoft themselves will stop supporting XP at some point. I have personally been in this trap before with MS OS's in a corporate environment, you eventually have to move.

What does it offer to businesses?

Support. Sorry, it's a big deal.

The improved security is irrelevant in a corporate environment, because companies have everything locked-down pretty tightly already.

True, but it can always be tighter. Better tools with more granularity mean less support calls due to malware/intrusions/etc. Of course, the support calls relating to "I can't do this" can outweigh the former, so it's a balancing act. Regardless, new tools are always welcome. Not to mention, new tools in the OS mean less 3rd party products to buy.

Beyond that, there isn't much Vista does better than XP

That's not new. I don't recall an OS since Windows 95 that offered a compelling reason to upgrade. Minor bug fixes, better hardware support, etc, but nothing that would make it worth shelling out cash to upgrade. In the past, it's been a case of new hardware just plain not booting the old OS, so we have to move.

At some point, businesses will HAVE to upgrade, of course

Of course? So you wrote this rant about how businesses don't need to upgrade, then followed it up with this? Huh?

but didn't Microsoft say that Vista's successor is only 2 years away?

2 years? Where did you hear THAT? Considering the amount of engineering that went into Vista, I suspect that the next OS is quite a ways off. WinFS is nowhere near ready, and I can't see MS shipping their next OS without it. Even if it is true that the next OS is 2 years off, that really means 3, plus the time needed for SP1, so minimum 4 years from now to the next usable OS. Plenty of time for XP to fall off the support map.

I imagine most businesses are just going to stick with XP until they just can't make it work on new hardware anymore.

This is what I've done in the past, and I've learned my lesson the hard way. One day, you get a new shipment of laptops to find a minor chipset tweak and, oh crap, XP won't boot. Now I have to QUICKLY figure out Vista and start deploying? No way, not any more. Embracing Vista now, testing Vista, and identifying its critical flaws is very important to businesses. I'm already working on the Vista rollout plan, even though the OS isn't ready. These are the woes of working in a Windows shop.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 7 years ago | (#19755323)

That's not new. I don't recall an OS since Windows 95 that offered a compelling reason to upgrade.
Spoken like someone who hasn't tried to get USB support for Windows 95. Or run into the fat32 2Gb file size limit. Btw, Vista could turn out like another WindowsME, so you may be borrowing trouble in your haste to deploy Vista.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19755027)

The improved security is irrelevant in a corporate environment, because companies have everything locked-down pretty tightly already.
You're kidding right? UAC and process virtualization are exactly the things that would help in such environments.
Process virtualization is like magic on locked-down workstations it allows all those "let's write to HKLM" programs to work without admin perms.
Add Bitlocker and it's a pretty decent upgrade.

I think everyone is just waiting for SP1 while also learning the idiosyncrasies of Vista. (and wait for better driver support probably)

Good wiki article: Technical features new to Windows Vista [wikipedia.org]
it's not just a facelift (despite the common FUD).

Re:Why bother? (1)

lgarner (694957) | about 7 years ago | (#19755441)

Computers coming to the end of the lease term? It's not an upgrade in the "upgrade v. install" sense, but it's something to prepare for anyway.

2GB? Pah! (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 7 years ago | (#19754049)

I'll just stick it in my gmail account, and mail a copy to everyone in my org. The Exchange Server shouldn't have a problem with that...

Re:2GB? Pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754141)

The Exchange Server _should_ be configured to block that almost immediately. If not, find a new admin monkey.

oy (1)

JasonWM (991689) | about 7 years ago | (#19754061)

I simply can't see Vista as a viable upgrade path in it's current state. I am one of those people that does have to worry about image size and getting a solid, well-built image into a good (read: decent sized) package for network distribution is vital to what I do.
The more news that comes out like this only pushes me and the people I service further and further away from MS based solutions.

Re:oy (2, Interesting)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | about 7 years ago | (#19754289)

Hi - you need to look at BDD2007 - a solution from Microsoft which actually works - Layered Images which work very very well - Have seen it used (ok at a Microsoft Meeting so it was going to work) and it looks excellent - especially if you have a good solid infrastructure - the images which you can deploy and create using WAIK are intelligent and work exceptionally well.

A sysadmins POV (5, Informative)

Shadowruni (929010) | about 7 years ago | (#19754069)

I played with Vista in a production capacity and I'll only move at gunpoint. Here's why:

I must use a server for administrative work. (yes, I know I can use registry tricks to make ADUC work but I shouldn't have to)

I can't run multiple monitors on my existing hardware that's certified for Vista, using the recommended drivers, configed the way MS said to.

I can't easily change the NIC binding order.

The sidebar thingy moves on it's own.

Eats my notebook's battery like Pez.

Decides my network is a new one that it's never seen before at random... hence network number 12!

This is just what I could think of in 10 seconds.

It's not a bad try but I see this as the ME of XP. I'll move when I have no choice... but at this point we're simply buying machines without OS and imaging or wiping them. We don't HAVE to upgrade and I'm not planning to for a REALLY REALLY REAAAAAALLLLY long time.

Re:A sysadmins POV (0, Troll)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | about 7 years ago | (#19755093)

Who the fuck modded this as a Troll? It's entirely accurate, and insightful. Must've been some MS fanboi...

In other news: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754169)


BushCo [whitehouse.org] warns "there will be challenges".

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Patriotically,
K. Trout

Vista==Home Entertainment System (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#19754293)

Vista!=Business System

That, I think, is the root of the problem, but Windows has never been a proper business system anyway...

Re:Vista==Home Entertainment System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19755007)

What can Vista do as an entertainment system, that XP cannot? (disregarding directx10 artificially being unavailable for XP)

Sanity and Respect will Sell (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 years ago | (#19754337)

Now that Michael Dell is back at the helm, I [hopefully] believe we're seeing a trend of recovery of the respect Dell once commanded. By laying out the facts as they see it, they are helping their customers make better decisions. The respect and loyalty of their customers was once a very strong asset to the company, but at some point in the past, they started squandering that asset by outsourcing support and all sorts of shenanigans that were once the repertoire of their competition. But once Dell started playing the competition's game instead of their own, they started to lose.

I see this as indication that they are reversing course on this and going back to what worked for them in the past... earning customer respect and loyalty.

Same problem as with XP, NT etc. (1)

durin (72931) | about 7 years ago | (#19754457)

I believe this is the same problem that came up when it was time to upgrade to XP and NT. Guess some people never learn...

Re:Same problem as with XP, NT etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19754609)

some of us are still using NT - my poweredge 2200 for example - I use it everyday(2x233mhz ba-by!)

Dell CYA. (2, Insightful)

rizzo320 (911761) | about 7 years ago | (#19754891)

This looks to be more of a "CYA" statement than anything else, probably a direct result of some of the negative articles that have been written about Vista and Microsoft.

What I really don't understand is why he made the statement in the first place. Dell really isn't over-promoting Vista to its Enterprise/Corporate customers. I recently had to quote out several Dell OptiPlex workstations, and Windows XP Professional is still the default OS licensing option for OptiPlex workstations, which are what most enterprise/corporate customers purchase.

The whole "2 GB" image thing is a bunch of nonsense as well. With every version of Windows that comes out, the default footprint size of Windows on the hard disk has increased as well. I remember installing Windows 95 on 200MB hard disks, with plenty of space left for Office 95 and other applications. Any IT manager in charge of making Windows images knows that a new version of Vista is going to be larger than its XP counterpart. Not only is this true of Windows, but of most software application packages as well.

Overall, Vista does have a lot of new changes. However, there is not too much there holding a customer back from upgrading. Many of the new features in Vista can be turned off and disabled if they can't be tested or get in the way, leaving you with a very XP-like user experience. Vista supports almost all of the group policies that XP does when it comes to being managed through AD. There are several new ways of deploying Vista images as well, with free Microsoft tools, but, there is nothing stopping you from using your existing tools either (Ghost, etc).

This statement looks like Dell spreading is FUD to cover their tracks for another upcoming quarter where they will have poor financial results. They can then blame "slow adaptation of Vista" as a reason for slow hardware sales.

Re:Dell CYA. (2, Funny)

aggressor-on (922876) | about 7 years ago | (#19755199)

Overall, Vista does have a lot of new changes. However, there is not too much there holding a customer back from upgrading. Many of the new features in Vista can be turned off and disabled if they can't be tested or get in the way, leaving you with a very XP-like user experience.


You are coming to a sad realization that Vista has no value. Cancel or Allow?

Re:Dell CYA. (1)

rizzo320 (911761) | about 7 years ago | (#19755369)

You are coming to a sad realization that Vista has no value. Cancel or Allow?


Ha ha, true. I'll admit my preferred OS is Mac OS X. But I have Vista installed, and still do lots of Windows work for clients. It's not bad. I like to downgrade most of the features and effects to the Windows 2000 interface, because that's what I prefer. I did the same thing with XP, and a lot of clients prefer it as well, as it keeps the UI cohesive from one version to the next. Most small businesses don't have time for re-training employees. Several people I worked with did not like the new start menu that was introduced with XP, among other things... just a personal preference I guess.

I think I was just obvious with the fact the article is stating the obvious. The reasons used in the article for not upgrading to Vista are pretty much the same reasons to not upgrade from version of an operating system to a newer version! I read the article, but perhaps I missed the main point.

Re:Dell CYA. (1)

rizzo320 (911761) | about 7 years ago | (#19755407)

I think I was just obvious with the fact the article is stating the obvious.


Hmm, my fix didn't take effect despite doing a preview. That line should read "I was just pointing out the article is stating the obvious." Sorry for the typo.

Waiting for SP1? (5, Interesting)

fdisk-o (754721) | about 7 years ago | (#19754913)

From TFA: "he denied that there is a widespread feeling that it is better to wait for Service Pack 1"

    I'm not sure who might be saying that they are not waiting for a service pack before Vista deployment for their business. It's certainly none of the people I've been speaking with. Due to the number of problems with application compatibility, the problems with Vista itself, and the nearly non-existant benefit to my business that Vista would provide, I will be waiting for SP1. At the time that SP1 is released, more time will have passed so that our application vendors will have re-written or updated their code to match Vista's changes. We'll also have less of an expenditure for new equipment to meet Vista's hungry requirements since we're constantly retiring older computers and purchasing nearly top-level systems to replace them. We will _not_ be transitioning to gain access to any new "features" that Vista provides, rather, we will transition because we can no longer buy computers with XP installed. Even though Vista provides some positive enhancements to application/OS separation, we have found that user education is vastly superior to feel-good allow/deny prompts that an uneducated user will botch every time. It's more work, sure, and would be a significant effort with a company larger than our 90+users, but the savings come in time. The "trusted computing" and DRM features within Vista allow _much_ greater control of the computer to be given to the software vendor than any reasonable sysadmin would be comfortable with. Due to these concerns and others, my company has been exploring a move for all users to Linux and MacOS. I know of several other 100+ employee local companies that are doing the same.

Redmond's dark shadow (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 7 years ago | (#19755021)

It's pretty obvious that the NEXT turn of the crank from Redmond's meatgrinder will not produce a usable desktop OS. It's as if we've hit some fundamental law for desktop OS's in terms of size, complexity and hardware. Whatever is post-Vista may very well be a server OS and desktops will be left behind as Redmond tries to figure out how to extract the typical $109-179 per seat retail price out of its installed base. This is probably going to be a great opportunity for any non Redmond OS out there. If the non Redmond world can't compete on compatibility and features and fear then they can compete on sheer ability to be installed and run even at near parity pricing.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19755037)

"Vista is big and complex and there is a lot to it. It requires a lot of testing. You can't just shut off XP on Friday and start Vista on Monday morning. There will be training. There are things to learn."


So, if training, and heaven forbid, learning something new is required, it's an excellent time to train on and learn Linux!

Kernel swap out in SP1 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19755437)

... just wait for the fun when that happens.
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