What Vista Means For SMEs Part II

Yesterday’s Vista launch saw Doug Richard, of Dragon’s Den fame, host a session on the benefits of Vista and Windows 2007 for the small business sector.
Joining him on stage were four …

31st January 2007 at 10:51 pm

Yesterday’s Vista launch saw Doug Richard, of Dragon’s Den fame, host a session on the benefits of Vista and Windows 2007 for the small business sector.

Joining him on stage were four or five small business owners who’d had Vista installed under beta in their offices. Each of these explained how they’d benefited from the latest Windows OS in terms of time saved, costs cut and efficiency gained.

Positive case studies are standard PR fare, but these looked a little bit like stooges. Doug’s rather bemused, languid delivery and occasional foot in mouth moment (‘it’s only the really big companies that can afford to waste lots of time’ … hmm … Microsoft are paying you for this, remember), didn’t help.

Personally, I feel that the benefits would have been better demonstrated with a few practical, real world business demos. An accountant talked about how instant search really helped them day-to-day. Real examples of this benefit in action would have been more compelling.

Nevertheless two elements of Vista stood out for me as being a plus for small businesses:- the aforementioned instant search and increased security.

These two items alone are a big plus. Stats from the British Chambers of Commerce back this up: 33% of SMEs waste 10 days a year looking for data they can’t find on computers; 50% don’t backup daily, 40% don’t have a firewall resulting in these companies losing an estimated £1,250 p.a. in problems resulting from lost or compromised data.

So, will I be switching to Vista this week or next?

The answer is no. Like most small businesses I’m sure, I’m likely to upgrade to Vista only when I next upgrade hardware. I’m looking forward to using Vista, unless the Mac cult gets me first, but I’m not going to fork out now. XP is stable and an upgrade is not compelling enough for SMEs that will also have to upgrade hardware to get the best from Vista.

Tags: small business,


Alex is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the UK's first podcast dedicated to small business, start-ups and entrepreneurship. Alex writes about topical small business issues, entrepreneurs and anything else that catches his eye here on the small business blog. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk

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  1. Hi Alex

    I agree with that small businesses shouldn’t worry about Vista until they have a hardware upgrade and preferably, not until Service Pack 1 comes out …

    Whilst the two big positive pluses (ultra-quick searching and increased security) are great, it doesn’t (IMHO anyway) justify paying out a fair chunk of cash for features that should be standard in an Operating System anyway …

    Plus, there are plenty of 3rd party programs out for XP that will give you 99.9% of the core features of Vista for free …

    As you say, XP is stable and as a small business myself, I’m not will to take the risk to switch to a brand new OS with all the inherent hardware and software compatibility problems it brings …

    Just a 2p worth from a “geek” 😉

    Great site, BTW – added your newsfeed …


    Nick 🙂

  2. alex says:

    Wise words Nick … love the ‘Nick the Geek’ tag btw. Made me chuckle. And thanks for adding this site to your news feed – much appreciated.

  3. Bill Dueease says:

    We Mac owners are happy to see Vista finally arrive. This way our Windoz based competitors will now have to spend more time, money, and energy dealing with Microsoft, as we just purr along without the hassles. Your decision to not buy is smart. Hopefully our Windoz based competitors fell for the MS hype and do not read your blog.

  4. alex says:

    I’ve spent years learning how to make windows based machines purr the way Macs are supposed to. I’ve succeeded largely. My sister on the other hand has a Mac. Its wifi card has failed twice. It’s been into the genius bar twice. It over heats and switches off at random. All in all it’s not so much purring as coughing up fur balls. I’m not anti mac or pro Windoze, but thing’s are not always as black and Apple white as they seem.

  5. I may be biased, but I’ve been running Vista on all my computers for over a year now with the Ultimate Edition powering my Home Cinema system and acting as a backup fileserver for the rest of my Vista Business computers (2 desktops and 2 laptops). I also run MS Small Business Server 2003 with no Vista/SBS integration problems and have found that Vista is extremely good for many more reasons than simply search and security enhancement (although these are great too). Enhanced snapshop backups are great (giving extra fast recovery), installation is smooth and simple, gagdets are good for punching important information through to the desktop (and providing extended connections to sideshow enables hardware), bitlocker drive encryption )ok this one is security) is excellent for protecting your entire hard disk (or removable drives) with really strong encryption, and integrated applications such as DVD maker, Movie Maker and Media Center make the OS invaluable. Yes, there are teething problems, yes it’s expensive, but give it a year and at least one service pack and we’ll all see what the fuss is about. And believe me, it’s a big step forward from Windows XP – I mean this is as big a change as Windows 95 was from 3.11.

    Tony Campbell
    Author, Speaker, Consultant

  6. Tony, I agree with you about much of the improved functionality. I look forward to using Vista as part of the natural hardware upgrade progress, but it simply doesn’t make sense at the moment bearing in mind the cost, the inevitable pre SP bugs and compatibility issues. I’m not anti-Vista. I think it’ll be good. But it’s not so compelling that I need to rush into it.

  7. […] been nearly six months since I attended the launch of Windows Vista. Back then, I came to the conclusion that for most small businesses the new Microsoft operating […]

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