You may have heard by now that Microsoft is offering downgrades to Windows XP for people that bought PCs with Windows Vista installed. For business users and professionals that use applications that have not yet been updated to work with Vista, this is a very good thing. I can’t imagine that large enterprises are even thinking about migrating to Vista yet, though. All of the large corporations that I have worked with so far are very risk averse, and they do not usually migrate to new versions of software until at least one service pack has been released. In some cases, it takes two service packs to make them feel comfortable about going through a huge migration project.

In the case of home users, I’m not sure I see the need to go through the trouble of downgrading. My wife and I have had a Windows Vista PC pretty much since Vista was released, and it has been reliable for the most part. It runs pretty quickly which is to be expected from a Core 2 Duo processor, a ton of RAM, and a good graphics card. I suppose if the machine was running XP, it would really fly, but we’ll stick with what we have.

I do have to add a caveat to this post. When the beta of Mac OS X came out, I installed it right away on my Power Mac G4, and I never went back to OS 9. I guess I’m trying to say I don’t mind going through a few growing pains. For the record, Windows Vista is a lot more ready for prime time than Mac OS X was when it first came out. Of course, Windows Vista is not a complete rewrite like OS X was so I can see why people expected more from Microsoft.

My buddy, Scott, and I went to the same Microsoft launch event for Windows Vista and Office 2007 in San Deigo and Saint Louis respectively. Even though we were separated by 2,000 miles and different speakers, we both came away with similar opinions of Windows Vista. It just isn’t all that impressive when you get right down to it. My wife and I have a new laptop running Vista, and it looks nice, but it has nothing that Mac OS X hasn’t had for years. Plus the laptop had to be souped up big time to even run the system. On the other hand, I have an almost eight year old Power Mac G4 running Mac OS X Tiger like a champ, and I plan to upgrade to Leopard soon after it is released. It seems to me that Microsoft tried too hard to make Vista look similar enough to XP that it wouldn’t freak people out. Vista has some really nice new features, and they could have been much cooler if the general layout of the desktop wasn’t the same as it’s been since Windows 95. There do seem to be some underlying technologies that could produce some cool new applications in the future. Now all we have to do is wait for developers to redesign their applications.