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One year after its release, the main question about Microsoft’s Windows Vista remains: When will you migrate?

Many businesses have decided they won’t—at least until they have no choice. They are content with Vista’s predecessor, Windows XP, and have decided the headaches that plague the switch to the new operating system aren’t worth it.

Our cover story this month analyzes the reasons Vista has stalled in the market. Although consumers have been buying it with new machines, the business world is waiting. Enterprises, originally expected to migrate en masse in 2008, now are looking at 2009. As our story reports, Vista has succeeded only by one measure—the number of license shipments. But it’s unclear how many of those licenses actually have been deployed.

Hardware requirements and incompatibility with some applications remain a problem. And judging from my own experience and conversations with other Vista users, the system simply is too foreign for first-time users. Ironically, the cover story was sent to me in that format and I couldn’t open it.

Another common complaint is that Vista is too slow, which is not what you want when you shell out several hundred bucks for a new and improved operating system.

Time for a Vista Reality Check.

Regardless of its shortcomings, Vista isn’t going away. Some frustrated users may be going back to XP, but Vista is an inevitability. And when it starts to catch on, solution providers stand to profit.

Pedro Pereira is editor of eWeek Strategic Partner and a contributing editor for The Channel Insider. He is at