I think Michael Gartenberg has jumped the shark. This week in ComputerWorld, he's comparing the upcoming launch of Vista to the launch of Windows 95:
This is the year of Longhorn -- I mean Windows Vista. Yep, it's real, and it's coming to a desktop near you in 2006. Expect a quiet period in Q1 and then a major ramp-up in the spring. IT won't have seen anything like this since the arrival of Windows 95. While some folks are advising IT to ignore Vista until sometime in 2008, you do so at your own peril. Between Microsoft and its partners, there's likely to be close to a billion dollars spent on marketing this thing. By the time some IT folks get around to looking at Vista, they may discover that users have already taken matters into their own hands.
Yeah, sure. I think he misses a number of things. First off, when Win 95 came out, there was a really, really compelling reason to upgrade: Windows 3.1 sucked, stability wise, and 95 looked like it was going to be a whole lot better (and it was). Now? Windows 2000 and XP are pretty stable releases. Sure, there have been plenty of security holes (WMF, anyone?), but that's true of any Windows product (or OS product, period), and I don't think anyone really believes that Vista will be dramatically better.
So why would I, as an end user of XP, press my IT department to get me Vista? What does it offer me that I don't get now? Nothing terribly compelling, that's what. If Gartenberg thinks that users will rush out and force IT to deal with Vista, he's smoking something. I fully expect Vista to flow in via new PC's, same as any other Windows release. I don't expect to see anyone really jumping for it. Contra Gartenberg, there's no buzz surrounding this. It's too late, and too many features have been jettisoned.