A number of companies are opting not to embrace Redmond's latest operating system and, like GM, are waiting for Windows 7 instead

By Aaron Ricadela

May 14, BusinessWeek

General Motors may take a detour around Vista, the latest computer operating system from Microsoft. The automaker has encountered so many speed bumps getting Vista to work on its machines that it may just wait for the next version of Windows, due in 2010 or 2011. "We're considering bypassing Vista and going straight to Windows 7," says GM's Chief Systems & Technology Officer Fred Killeen.

Vista taxes all but the most modern PCs with hefty processing and memory requirements. Many of GM's PCs can't even run the system. "By the time we'd replace them, Windows 7 might be ready anyway," Killeen says. Then there are compatibility problems with all the software that needs to run on Windows. GM's software vendors still haven't ensured all their programs will run on Vista trouble-free. So the company is sticking with Windows XP for now. Killeen figures GM could install Windows 7 in three or four years.

Equal Parts Rejection and Acceptance

Many of Killeen's counterparts across Corporate America are finding themselves similarly vexed by Vista. The resulting delay or rejection of Microsoft's flagship product is stepping up pressure on the company to expand other areas of its business, including online software. Vista was first released in late 2006, but the dismay with it has come into sharper focus as slower-than-expected uptake affects Microsoft's bottom line, Google spiffs up its own free versions of competing software, and corporate tech managers move to put more Apple Macs on employee desks (BusinessWeek, 5/1/08).

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