Windows Vista has been on the market for nearly a month now, but enterprise users and industry experts agree that Microsoft's latest and greatest OS still isn't yet ready to replace XP. The problem is not with the software itself -- by most accounts, Vista is technically solid -- but with myriad peripheral issues that Microsoft must work out to take the pain out of using Vista.
Take patching, for example. On Dec. 12, Microsoft released an Internet Explorer 7 fix that improved the performance of IE's phishing filter. The software had been bogged down by Web sites with a large number of frames, and users had been complaining. Microsoft patched the problem for Windows XP and Server 2003 users, but not for Vista. That update will come after the consumer release of Vista hits the market some time in January, according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft's public relations agency. And although Microsoft is now issuing security patches for Vista, performance-related updates such as the phishing filter are being handled on a case-by-case basis, she said.
Microsoft won't say why it is holding off on some Vista patches even though the product is commercially available for business customers, but Russ Cooper, a senior information security analyst at Cybertrust, has a theory. "I say Microsoft never intended anybody to run Vista prior to January," he said. "What works on Vista, beyond Office 2007?" he asked. "I'm going to Vista ... when my VPN supplier tells me that they have drivers that work, and when my anti-virus vendor tells me that they have non-beta versions that work."