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Today, Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing was quoted as saying “At the Olympics, we need the most reliable and stable system,” to explain their choice of XP over Vista. Link here (via GMSC).

Is this a fair statement?

Well, we run “SunPolls” on our website. These are completely unscientific but can provide you with a quick read into the “zeitgeist” of the market. We believe that the polls tend to reflect the attitude of corporate system administrators because the SunPolls are often promoted through one of our newsletters, wservernews, which is targeted to IT managers. Of course, just to say it again, there’s absolutely no science in these polls, and they should be considered largely entertainment.

Well, one of the most popular SunPolls in recent years asked the question “ Now that Vista is there, what are your plans for rolling it out?”. A whopping 30% of responders said they uninstalled Vista from their admin station because Vista does not provide the admin tools that are in WinXP.

Comparing the results of before and after Vista was released are interesting. In October 2006, we asked the question “Now that Vista is close, what are your plans for rolling it out?”. You can compare the two and see the differences in opinion. Poll 1. Poll 2.

We’re running a similar poll again this week, with the same question asked again, but with slightly different answers. You can see it for yourself, at the low bottom right of our website.

Now: Contrast this negativity with a conversation with one of my brothers this week. He can’t stop raving about Vista. But he is gulping Microsoft from a firehouse — this is almost a pure MS install, with Office 2007 and Vista. All unnecessary stuff third party apps have been taken off. And I think that has a lot to do with the attitudes out there. Vista, plain vanilla Vista, is great. But the problem is like the problem with all new operating systems — driver and application compatibility. It’s nothing new to say this, but I think Vista will have a chance as software support is improved and companies (Sunbelt included) continue to work out the kinks in their products to support this evolution in Microsoft’s OS.

In the meantime, I’m still running XP. I just can’t afford any downtime and may need to run applications that might not be fully supported on Vista.

Alex Eckelberry