Since the 'build it and they will come' paradigm hasn't exactly work in the case of Windows Vista, Microsoft is taking a different approach. From eSchool News:
Microsoft will stop offering Windows XP in retail stores June 30, but at least two major computer manufacturers say school districts, colleges, and universities will be able to buy machines with the older operating system until January 2009, as Windows Vista—released last year—remains unpopular with many consumers.
Windows XP, the seven-year-old predecessor to Vista, continues to be a preferred option for many schools, because it allows them to run applications that don't always work with Vista.
I suppose I feel Microsoft's pain. Even though they've sold a lot of copies of Vista, it still has to grate on them that customers prefer the 7 year old clunker versus the shiny new model. I understand where schools are coming from though too.
Officials in Virginia's Fairfax County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the country, said last summer that Vista worked "automatically" with only half of their existing computer programs—meaning IT managers would have to make adjustments for the other half of the school system's programs.
If I were considering upgrading, that statement alone would cause me to really think twice about it. But to be fair, I'm an operating system agnostic. On any given day, I might use Windows 2000, Linux/Kubuntu, and Windows XP. For the work I do, I like the Windows XP operating system since it provides a stable platform, and the hardware drivers for all different types of computer systems are readily accessible. I simply haven't used Vista heavily enough to really give an informed opinion on it. Here's a good comparison from an enterprise perspective.
Either way it goes, Microsoft is still making their money. Any thoughts out there from you folks who've used both operating systems?