Windows Vista: You’ve Got Alternatives
The VAR Guy plans to give Windows Vista a test run soon, but he’s hedging his bets. He’s already running Mac OS X as his primary operating system. And he’s telling everyone who will listen that businesses don’t have to make the leap to Windows Vista.
For the first time in more than a decade, there are real desktop alternatives in the market during a big Microsoft upgrade cycle.
Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds and thousands of open source developers are restoring freedom of choice on the desktop. While Apple and the open source community have innovated, Microsoft has repeatedly stumbled. Businesses have struggled five years to defend Windows XP from viruses and spyware. All the while, Windows Vista suffered repeated delays.
Is it time to dump Windows and abandon Microsoft’s partner program? Actually, no. Windows Vista’s debut provides numerous revenue opportunities for white box resellers, application developers and VARs. And integrators will profit from close ties between Vista and Microsoft’s server applications.
The vast majority of new consumer and corporate PCs will run Windows Vista in 2007. But that’s not the point. The real story is freedom of choice on the desktop. Businesses finally have enough tools and options (from Apple, Novell, Red Hat, OpenOffice, Ubuntu, Xandros, notebook makers and so on) to evaluate and embrace Windows alternatives during a big Microsoft upgrade cycle.
VARs should continue to promote Windows when it makes sense, but don’t ignore the growing list of reliable, secure, intuitive alternatives.