With Microsoft Windows 7 due for release in the next two years, and support for Windows XP expected to continue until well after the new operating system ships, some South African companies are considering holding back on their migration to Vista in the belief that they should rather wait for its successor.
However, Nicola Homewood, Microsoft product manager at Ingram Micro, says there's more to this topic than meets the eye.
"Customers should look into this deployment decision more carefully before they decide to skip a version," she says.
"Firstly, Windows 7 is for all intents and purposes a refined version of Windows Vista. As such, it's safe to assume that the underlying source-code in the operating system's kernel will remain largely unchanged.
"For laymen, that means, the same teething problems companies were likely to experience in moving to Vista will be experienced in moving to Windows 7.
"The only difference is that they'll have longer to initiate that migration if they begin now. And who would you rather be?" she asks.
While Homewood concedes that numerous issues were experienced when customers made the initial move to Vista, she believes that the majority of those issues have been resolved with the release of the operating system's first service pack at the beginning of 2008.
"When Vista shipped, it was also clear that the hardware vendors in the market weren't adequately prepared," she adds.
"It's been a year and a half since then however and it's rare that any residual driver issues exist on recently procured hardware. That, coupled with the fact that most hardware bought today should have no problem running Windows 7, means organisations can enjoy less impact on their hardware budgets going forward.
"In a nutshell, the Vista debate is vastly different today than what it was a year, or even six months ago," Homewood says.
"Based on this, I would honestly recommend that customers take the plunge and implement Vista – even if it's for no other reason than preparing their environments for the arrival of Windows 7."