Intel isn't saying 'no' or 'yes' to Vista completely

There may not ever be a planned, collective migration of Intel's company clients to Windows Vista. But as Intel told BetaNews today, there doesn't have to be, since IT can make upgrade decisions on a case-by-case basis.

In response this afternoon to an enthusiast news site report last Monday that re-ignited an old rumor that Intel had decided it would be corporate policy not to deploy Windows Vista on its internal company network-linked systems, and that it might even consider a wholesale move to Linux, an Intel spokesperson gave BetaNews a more practical explanation. Rather than move everybody in its various departments from Windows XP or Windows 2000 to Vista in a massive exodus, the company reiterated what it has told us before: It deploys different versions of Windows based on specific user needs.

"Windows is, and will be, by far the dominant OS for the bulk of Intel's 80,000+ employees," Intel corporate communications manager Bill Calder told BetaNews. "We are testing and deploying Windows Vista in certain departments. Intel IT is constantly refreshing employee desktops and laptops and there are a number of factors considered before choosing the type of software for the computer."

So there are Windows XP users throughout Intel, and it would appear there will continue to be Windows XP users, based on thorough assessments and probably based on employee preference. But Windows Server 2008 does enable departments to make this choice; it does not perceive Vista as a "necessary upgrade" for XP, and besides Microsoft's ongoing marketing efforts, there is nothing technologically that forces clients to use Vista for fundamental Windows services.

That said, some employees are probably, justifiably questioning the need to move to Vista, and may consider themselves quite comfortable with their current systems. In that light, it would seem unreasonable to consider a mass transition to a new client or server operating system -- easily an investment of tens of millions, at the very least, for a company of Intel's size and IT stature.

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