Cool, new stuff means not having to do anything
Say I'm an IT manager and I'm running Windows XP on my desktops. So, yesterday, Microsoft lets x64 out of the box. I've got a few servers that could use the speed and the 4 gigs-plus of RAM that x64 will make accessible, so I'll probably upgrade those. Then there's Phil, the data junkie in finance, and Phyllis that weird art director in marketing, who will ask me to upgrade their desktops with 64-bit CPUs and x64 because that's what they always do when something faster comes along. Never mind that the 64-bit versions of the apps they use and the device drivers they'll need won't be out until who knows when.
So when will those mainstream business apps for x64 come along anyway? Some of the smart guys in the shop don't think we'll see anything real for at least 3-4 years. I don't plan to start phasing in 64-bit machines until then anyway and when I do, they'll still only be running 32-bit apps. It would cost me maybe $100 more per machine to do that now, but when I'm actually ready to buy, they should be priced about the same as 32-bit machines.
Meanwhile, what should I do about Longhorn? Supposedly, it will be ready later next year and it's going to come in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. I'll sit tight and wait until I see what shakes out there. That's just one more thing that I can't deal with right now anyway. It ain't in the budget, for one thing.
Everyone else in this joint will get along just fine with what they have. It's going to be several years before we finishing writing off the upgrade to XP and everything that that required. And I still haven't upgraded our XP machines to SP2 because I haven't finished running tests to make sure nothing will break. Doing the upgrade is going to be a pain, so I'm in no hurry to do that either.
New OSes, new chips. Too much is happening for me do decide one way or the other, which means the smart thing to do is to do nothing. It's all good.
Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.