Beware of 'Vista by stealth', warns IRIS

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Businesses are being warned to beware of ‘Vista by stealth’ by business software developer IRIS Exchequer. John Stokdyk reports.

Industry surveys have highlighted reluctance among a majority of businesses to move to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. But because it is shipped by default on most new PCs, Vista is turning up unexpectedly in many companies.

After questioning more than 200 customers at recent presentations, IRIS product director Paul Sparkes found that 59% had no immediate plans to move to Vista or to purchase Vista-compatible PCs.

"However, calls to our customer support teams are already proving that Microsoft Vista is arriving through the back door for many businesses," he said. "Replacing just one broken machine could mean t...

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By Anonymous
30th Nov 2007 11:36

SW houses made rod for their own back ...
Maybe M$ have taken the back-door approach but does that really surprise anyone? Surely the trick is to anticipate the issues and just handle them without any impact on the user

However, the article is interesting because it highlights some of the issues encountered by the 'traditional' desktop approach to software.

Yes the software may eventually be compatible, however
- it needs to be updated by the software house to ensure compatibility. One only has to look at the rollout schedule on the IRIS site to see the issues; these become magnified with layers of products gained in the course of acquisitions
- instant compatibility with a different OS is never available without work by the software house
- it is not a seamless process and users need to be pro-active to ensure they have the latest downloads etc; otherwise support calls result

One would guess that these factors are part of the underlying reason behind the specific IRIS warning. This is quite apart from the general reluctance for larger organisations to roll out Vista which is totally understandable if one is catering for programs from 40-50 different suppliers. Nevertheless this is where virtual machines could come into their own for a gradual migration; although the uptake in this area is not really mature enough

On the other hand with systems delivered via the browser (SaaS - hosted service)
- these OS issues nearly all disappear
- it doesn't even matter if the user is running multiple platforms (PC/Mac)

The benefits all round are considerable and a manageable ROI results

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03rd Dec 2007 17:18

Good old Iris
hypocrits to the end - i remeber only too well when they tried to hijack our computers when they had their ill fated release of PAYE master

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By Anonymous
04th Dec 2007 06:16

New M$ class action - this may hearten IRIS ....
M$ another class action in the making - surrounding Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" logo program for new PCs

Last Christmas attempting to avert a pre-Vista PC sales slump, M$ created a marketing program that allowed PC vendors label new computers as either "Vista Capable" or "Vista Premium Ready

The Plaintiffs claim that the marketing program deceived consumers into thinking that lower-end PCs with the "Capable" logo would run what they define as the "real" Vista - i.e. editions shown in virtually all M$ Vista marketing materials prominently featuring its signature Aero Glass user interface.

The argument is that in fact the only edition of Vista that many of those "Capable" PCs would run was Vista Home Basic - this lacks support for Aero Glass and several other new features. To ensure the higher-end editions of the new OS could be run, consumers needed to buy a PC labeled "Premium Ready."

Last month, the plaintiffs filed to have their suit upgraded to "class action" status, arguing that many consumers had been mislead, as they had been, as a result of Microsoft's attempts to maintain sales of Windows XP through the 2006 Christmas buying season

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05th Dec 2007 15:20

Bit obvious perhaps - but although it's not on the website, if you ask Dell they will ship you machines with XL rather than Vista.

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By graemem
05th Dec 2007 16:05

IRIS 'hypocrisy'
As an IRIS user for in excess of 20 years, and you may think (incorrectly) therefore biased as a result, I feel that Nicholas' comments are ill informed and, frankly, irrelevant to the issue being discussed.

Granted, I too experienced the PAYEMaster debacle first hand and have since changed payroll software. Not because of the problems caused by an ill timed migration to a .NET-based product, but due to a lack of functionality in relation to the latest CIS scheme. Having an IT background, the former alone would not have forced a change, as I was able to rectify most of the issues in house. Not that I should have been required to, I might add!

The problems associated with the payroll product, which are well documented elsewhere on the site, are not reflected in any of the practise software that remains the core product of the firm.

The comments made by IRIS as regards Vista are, in my opinion, very accurate and well timed.

I would recommend that anyone requiring to renew client machines on a network - regardless of practise software being used - where Vista has not already been rolled out completely should purchase the new hardware with no operating system installed and simply install the version of XP supplied with that previous client machine. Both aspects of this are easier than one might think, assuming of course that valid licences are held in the first place...

If there has already been a 'clean install' using that disk - perhaps due to a hard drive failure or somesuch - and therefore a potential licensing issue, then MS can be most helpful in my experience. A simple telephone call usually resolves matters.

My firm already hold licences to allow us to roll out the full version of Vista whenever we like, and all client machines on the network are of the required spec., but I will not be doing so for some time. At least until considerably after the January 'mensis horribilis'! Probably around the issue of Service Pack 3(!), should that ever materialise, and when I can be assured that I will be able to obtain drivers for my entire perfectly well functioning - if long in the tooth - peripherals.

Having made a mistake in the past does not mean that all advice offered by a firm like IRIS should be so unthinkingly dismissed. We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, at the mercy of MS and I feel that any constructive advice that can be offered should at least be considered before being disregarded.

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06th Dec 2007 17:33

Is IRIS compatible with Linux as yet?

If so, I may well say goodbye to Microsoft & its built-in obsolescence/unreliability sooner rather than later.

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07th Dec 2007 15:39

Graeme Minto
blah blah blah - lucky you although you did say that you had PAYE problems. it is not unreasonable to conclude that this could have been the first step in an ongoing process which could have been less than useful.

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13th Dec 2007 13:42

Downgrade rights from Vista Business
With the issues regarding Vista, is everyone aware that they can legally purchase a machine with Windows Vista Business preinstalled and then reinstall Windows XP professional on the PC?

The OEM vesions of Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate include downgrade rights to Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. As long as you are already using Windows XP on another machine on the network, Microsoft will allow you to do this.

This will allow you to buy the new PC of your choice (without having to hunt for one that has XP preinstalled). You can then run Windows XP on the machine until you are ready to upgrade to Vista.

Hopefully this will help some of you looking to buy new kit.

Jon Stanton
PEM IT Services

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