Its Vista time for PC makers, too.
With Microsoft rolling out its new operating system, along with Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007, OEMs have started to line up and tout the innovations and features that will be included in their notebooks and desktops.
But despite the fancy New York City launch of Vista Nov. 30 and the moves being made by computer makers, analysts said that enterprise IT managers will take their time in adopting the new business version of Vista. The bigger payoff, for Microsoft and OEMs, is expected Jan. 30, 2007, when the consumer version is released.
Leslie Fiering, an analyst at Gartner, said that despite the Vista launch, it will take at least another 18 months for enterprise IT mangers to begin refreshing their supply of notebooks and desktops.
If that holds true, it might take until the end of the decade for enterprise businesses to fully adopt Vista, she said.
"Most large accounts take their time to evaluate and validate and to test against hardware," Fiering said. "They want to take their time and figure out how to apply it across an organization."
With the launch of Vista, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo are all talking about making modifications in their PC hardware to work with the new operating system.
For its part, Lenovo announced that it has integrated its ThinkVantage Technologies—a group of PC software tools that include protection, recovery and security application—with Vista Enterprise.
"Its been a significant effort for us," Clain Anderson, Lenovos director of security and affiliated software, told eWEEK. "Its been more of a year of really solid development effort to make sure that we have tuned things up to work with Vista and take advantage of some of the new features that underlie some of the applications, in particular the recovery environment."
Anderson was referring to the Rescue and Recovery feature in ThinkVantage, which works with Vistas protection tools and will help restore a PC to a working state even if the operating system does not boot.
Lenovo, in Raleigh, N.C., has also worked at upgrading its Access Connections—which helps users switch network, browser and other settings when they move—with Vista. The PC maker is also offering an enhanced security and password management tool.
These upgrades will happen first on Lenovos ThinkPad notebook line, which is more geared toward business users, but will later appear on its consumer and business Lenovo 3000 line.
In Dells case, the Round Rock, Texas, company announced that it will focus its efforts on helping its business customers migrate to new Vista features. This includes a Vista ROI (return on investment) tool that helps with budgets and a Vista migration and an Exchange Advisor application.
Lastly, HP, in Palo Alto, Calif., said that it will offer several Vista products in hardware and software along its server, storage and PC lines.
Representatives from all three companies have said that enterprise customers have expressed interest in Vista, although it will take some time for many to adopt.
Kevin Libert, a senior manager of Dells Microsoft alliance, said that with any new operating system there will be an adoption curve, with some looking to adopt early and others who will wait.
"There is a huge interest," Libert said, adding that the Vista operating system, along with Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007, has piqued the interests of consumers and small-business users.
"We have had good feedback from large businesses, but they need to do their due diligence before they adopt and convert," Libert said.