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OS upgrades chill IT managers

The diverse reaction I got from recent stories about upgrading Microsoft Windows makes it clear that many corporate customers aren't going to blithely follow Microsoft's leads for OS upgrades.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think Linux will edge out Windows from the desktop, or that OS/2 or the Macintosh will beat Windows in the corporate marketplace. Windows will be running on PCs well into the next century.

But Microsoft must convince some corporations that the upgrade is not just technology for technology's sake and convince others that the company and its products are technically advanced enough.

Migrating users is a difficult process aggravated by the demands for more, or faster, hardware - for which you have no budget.

Further complicating this scenario, corporate managers are becoming more sceptical about the return on hardware and software investments. Several of you shared the gyrations necessary to simply justify buying more RAM for your installed computers, let alone the labour needed to install it.

Regardless of Microsoft's pace, users are happy with their Windows and even DOS applications. After years of tweaking, you finally have PCs that don't crash daily.

Then, I postulated how new Windows environments could be more easily updated through a subscription-type service that Microsoft is trying to establish. This Web-integrated approach would provide us with a more current computing environment - with dramatically less labour.

It is clear that the company needs to change this perception before people will automatically accept the upgrades. And Microsoft needs to provide clear and real-world benefits with every additional version. As one reader stated, "This isn't a technologist's market any more - we're doing business."