Windows Vista has been on the market for nearly a month now, but enterprise users and industry experts agree that Microsoft\u2019s latest and greatest OS still isn\u2019t yet ready to replace XP.The problem is not with the software itself\u2014by most accounts, Vista is technically solid\u2014but 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\u2019s phishing filter. The software had been bogged down by websites 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 sometime in January, according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft\u2019s 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\u2019t 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\u2019m going to Vista ... when my VPN supplier tells me that they have drivers that work, and when my antivirus vendor tells me that they have non-beta versions that work."Application compatibility is another problem for Vista, and VPN and antivirus software are among the applications at the top of the list that users say must work before they will move to Vista. Right now, the most popular software in those categories, as well as other mainstream applications many business customers use, won\u2019t be available for Vista until after the consumer version of the operating system is released on Jan. 30, 2007.Some of the applications that still aren\u2019t compatible with Vista include IBM\u2019s Lotus Notes e-mail and collaboration suite, Cisco Systems\u2019 and Check Point Software Technologies\u2019 VPN clients, Intuit\u2019s accounting software QuickBooks 2006 and earlier versions, and antivirus software from Trend Micro.Intuit even took time in mid-December to warn QuickBooks users in a note that they should hold off on upgrading to Vista until after the U.S. tax season ends in April, citing compatibility with older versions of its software and "potential reliability issues" with Vista.IBM said Lotus Notes will support Vista by mid-2007; Lotus Notes 8, the next version of the suite, also will be available at that time on Vista. Cisco\u2019s VPN will support Vista sometime in the first quarter of 2007.QuickBooks, Check Point\u2019s VPN client, and Symantec and Trend Micro\u2019s\u00a0antivirus software will support Vista following the consumer release. However, in some good news for users, McAfee already has Vista\u00a0antivirus software on the market.Even some of Microsoft\u2019s own products still don\u2019t run on Vista. SQL Server 2005, the latest version of Microsoft\u2019s database, won\u2019t be available for Vista until after the consumer release.Still, while there may be some lag time in Vista adoption as users wait for applications to catch up to the new OS, companies will eventually have to make the switch to Vista no matter how painful it is. Most analysts predict that enterprises will begin moving over to Vista in earnest by 2008."Once Vista is being shipped by OEMs on all new PCs, we won\u2019t be debating why people should move," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology with consulting firm TwentySix New York. "It will be clear that they will need to do so, sooner or later. And honestly, people can argue until they\u2019re blue in the face about how XP is fine, but the reality is that it\u2019s five years old, technology has changed and a new OS is necessary."\u2014 Robert McMillan & Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Related Link:Beyond VistaCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.