by Laurianne McLaughlin

HP CEO: Vista Never Had Its Moment in 2007

Nov 20, 20072 mins
Enterprise Applications

Wondering what’s happened to momentum for Microsoft’s Vista operating system in corporate America? Fact is, enterprise IT has continued to decline the Vista plate like it’s an undercooked holiday casserole. Listen to what Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd said yesterday: HP never saw a “Vista moment at any time over the past year,” he told reporters on a conference call to discuss HP’s fourth-quarter earnings.

HP was happily announcing that revenue for its personal systems group has spiked to $10.1 billion; that’s up 30 percent compared to fourth quarter a year ago. But that success sure isn’t because businesses planned a Vista upgrade and refreshed systems at the same time.

On the contrary, Vista did not play into HP’s sales uptick, Hurd declared. That uptick is all about sales in emerging markets including China, he says. In fact, HP says that revenue from Brazil, Russia, India and China increased 37 percent; it’s now nearing 10 percent of HP’s $104.3 billion in sales.

I can practically see the steam coming out of Steve Ballmer’s ears when he hears Hurd say this out loud. This isn’t the way Vista was supposed to play.

Vista, one of the longest, priciest and most-watched R&D efforts at Microsoft, has turned into a presidential candidate that no one in corporate America wants to listen to anymore. Sure, Vista’s shipping on plenty of new consumer PCs. But in the enterprise, it’s stuck in neutral. In pop culture, it continues to be teased by those pesky Mac TV commercials.

At our recent CIO-08: The Year Ahead conference in San Diego, I talked to many CIOs about what was on their minds, technology-wise. I brought up Vista with many of them. I got many shrugs, and many replies of “I’m in no rush.” That’s definitely not surprising. Any CIO worth his or her salary moves slowly on OS upgrades. But it’s been a while now.

As bloggers including veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley have noted recently, you’re all waiting for the first Vista service pack, due in early 2008: But Microsoft’s testers are beginning to grumble about just how good that service pack will be. Some enterprises are even considering skipping Vista, if possible.

Will your enterprise have its Vista moment in 2008? I’d love to hear why, or why not.