Don’t skip Vista — please!

February 11, 2009

Thinking of going straight from your trusted old Windows XP to Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system, bypassing the poorly received Vista?

Not so fast, Microsoft warned its corporate customers in a blog today.

“We know some of our customers are considering waiting for Windows 7 instead of deploying Windows Vista today,” says Windows senior product director Gavriella Schuster in the blog. “We want these customers to understand the following considerations, so they are not surprised later on.”

Leapfrogging Vista could mean falling into a hole where applications are no longer supported on XP but not yet supported on Windows 7, she warns.  

And it could be a while before Windows 7 is ready for corporate customers. The beta version of the operating system was made available for public download only last month, and Microsoft won’t commit to any firm roll-out date beyond its broad target of early 2010.

That means corporations, which typically take at least 12-18 months to switch to a new operating system, could be looking at a five-year gap between Vista and Windows 7, and even longer for older operating systems.

Schuster doesn’t say you can’t go straight from XP to Windows 7, but the migration will be easier if you introduce Vista first.

“Our customers who focus efforts in getting their applications to work on Windows Vista will ease future migration to Windows 7 and help accelerate their Windows 7 deployment,” says Shuster.

It will also help lackluster sales of Vista. Don’t say she didn’t warn you.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Microsoft is at it again issuing dire warnings if we don’t bow to their bullying. This must be the only company in the entire world which sells a product knowing full well it is not fit for purpose, riddled with bugs, and accepts absolutely no corporate responsibility for its product. Then it has the effrontery to expect us to pay for updates (XP then Vista, now W 7) at regular intervals so it can keep up financing of the corporate bullying of us all out here. It warmed me enormously to see Cuba showing the correct public policy to software which has become of (inter)national importance – USE LINUX – an open source free resource. I salute them (in this endeavour) and it will succeed. Ask yourself this question: if you were a building contractor and your business depended on all your expensive diggers and tractors working nonstop with all their accessories such as rams, buckets, rock breakers, winches etc, WOULD YOU BUY A DIGGER WITH A KNOWN DEFECT OR ONE WHICH YOU KNOW YOU MUST UPGRADE IF YOU NEED TO FIT A NEW RAM??? No you would not – then why oh why do we as meek consumers to the slaughter continue to support this corporate bully called MicroSoft Corp? What one hell of an admission that Vista has been so useless that they have to rush in unseemly haste to produce Windows 7! I bet we would not accept this corporate lunacy from a car manufacturer, so WHY do we accept it from a software manufacturer? We really must have more money than sense, that’s all I can say (just now!)

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

Hello! Microsoft!

Threats won’t work. Scare tactics… No! Won’t work either. You priced VISTA out of reach. Leading people to consider a hybrid environment or migration to Linux.

I WILL NOT buy Vista to get to Windows 7. Windows 7 should be your redeemer and if not … We will find other ways to run out business.

The pricing structure – Fix it.

Posted by Jean M. | Report as abusive

I get what they’re trying to say, but it’s still B.S. My impression from running XP, Vista and the 7 beta is that the HW reqs for 7 are lower than Vista. This is one decision-maker at a ‘corporate customer’ that will try to leapfrog. A lot of compatibility issues can be addressed by metaframe and virtualization solutions.

Posted by Esteban | Report as abusive

There’s something else to consider as well. Most application and driver developers know that few corporations “upgraded” all their Windows desktops to Vista, so they are still testing upgrades to their software with Windows XP. And as soon as Windows 7 comes out, the developers will make it easy to transition from XP to Windows 7, so there’s no need to fear Microsoft’s warnings.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Maybe MS should just re-release ME and we could all be miserable all over again.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder if this suggestion wasn’t published to get more corporate IT thinking exactly this way, skip Vista, jump directly to W7.

Posted by Doug | Report as abusive

Mr Rigby

I’d have to cry foul here. Having spend much of the last two years trying to get Vista Enterprise to perform, and trying to get Large Companies like Reuters to write even Beta Code for Vista has been impossible. If you have a business unit with 20 applications and only 10 will work on Vista, then guess what, you cant move them. In addition, office 2007 on Vista, requires significantly more memory to run than what is listed as “Book Advise” from MS.. If you have 100,000 desktops in your company and have to upgrade to 2 or even 4 gig of memory. The labor costs alone reach into the millions.

I would say most companies are waiting for Windows & because we are trusting Microsoft to produce a product that lives up to what it says on the tin. Windows & is BASED on Vista Kernel, (their words) with many improvements in performance and memory handling. Lets hope we can convince the market place to start writing some decent applications for Windows 7 so we can go for the upgrade. If not, i hear the death knell for the full blown MS OS as companies more and more look to browser based Virtual OS and Applications to provide service.

Posted by Robert Greeber | Report as abusive

This is obviously a tactic to get people to buy Vista. Well, I’m not gonna buy into that! It’s better to use Linux.

Posted by DireAngel | Report as abusive

I don’t get what they’re trying to say about the ‘application hole.’ If it’s not supported on XP, but not yet support on Windows 7.. and I haven’t gotten Vista yet.. I’m confused. I’m missing something vital to that statement.

Anyway.. the analogy I come up with reading this article is like saying, “I know you enjoy your car and it’s been a few years since you’ve upgraded to the newer model.. but we would like you to test drive the 2009 model and buy the 2008 first. Then buy the 2009 when it comes out.”

Posted by J.V | Report as abusive

More FUD from the Evil Empire.
An abject admission of failure on their part, copping to the facts that neither XP, Vista, nor Seven will run applications developed by third parties.

I’ve used linux since WIn98 with much success. Were it not for locked-in hardware vendors making win-drivers, I’d never have any problems at all, but thankfully the Linux community attacks any device with great vigor that tries to lock out Linux. None have succeeded.

I play WoW and Diablo 2 in linux. I use Open Office. My computer goes six months without a reboot, and I’ve never had the two things that come all but packaged with Microsoft products:

Blue Screens & Viruses.

There is NO linux virus.

That fact alone should tell you something about the quality of Microsoft software.

PS, I used to work at MSFT and I’ve seen the code. Don’t hold your breath for Seven to save your day. It’s just more of the same, another upgrade to NT.

Posted by Demopoly | Report as abusive