I had thought that my problems with Windows Vista were mainly my problems -- the result, that is, of my (new) ThinkPad T60 and its (sizable by most standards) 105-gigabyte hard drive being overwhelmed by an operating system really meant for heavy-duty desktops, if not mainframes.

It turns out that the heavy-duty guys are worried too. This week's report in Computerworld suggests that business clients with Windows setups are overwhelmingly sticking with what they have rather than buying Vista. Highlight:

In a just-released poll of more than 250 of its clients, PatchLink noted that only 2% said they are already running Vista, while another 9% said they planned to roll out Vista in the next three months. A landslide majority, 87%, said they would stay with their existing version(s) of Windows....

Those numbers contrasted with a similar survey the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based vendor published in December 2006. At the time, 43% said they had plans to move to Vista, while just 53% planned to keep what Windows they had.

This group's concern is different from mine: they don't worry as much about what is known as Vista's "large footprint" (consumption of disk and CPU resources) as about the suspicion that it may not be any more "secure" (ie, tamper- or hacker-proof) than Windows XP.

Microsoft has, above all else, staying power, plus a track record of making defective early releases much better by Version 3. So presumably today's Vista users struggle and flail for the benefit of users a year or two from now. But considering how much money and effort the company put into Vista (nee "Longhorn"), and how many years behind schedule it was, it is sobering that the software still has so many difficulties.

Nerd bonus: this Computerworld article from February offered a prescient and perceptive look at Vista's problems. In fairness to me, that was written at least four months after my early and mistakenly pro-Vista column in the Atlantic, which itself was based on a beta version less troublesome than the real thing has proven to be.

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