Cost savings will be a top consideration for public sector organizations migrating to Windows Vista, but it's not the only factor in their decision.
Terry Smith, director of Microsoft's UK public sector business, said: "The big thing to drive Vista uptake [in the public sector] is showing cost savings are really significant."
Public sector uptake of Vista will be all about proving the new operating system can provide savings, he explained. "It won't be for end-user benefits such as UI [user interface], search and accessibility," Smith said.
Quocirca analyst Elaine Axby agreed cost is important in the public sector--but that it was not the only feature they're looking for. "[The public sector] does care about cost savings but functionality is important too. What's even more important is that the system is tried and tested and without bugs that are going to impact major applications."
When it comes to whether public sector organization will lag private businesses in rolling out Vista, experts are again divided.
Microsoft's Smith said: "It's a fallacy that the public sector is slower to adopt technology."
In fact, he added, public sector organizations are "slightly ahead of the curve" in rolling out some types of IT.
But Quocirca's Axby believes public sector organizations will be "a long time" in adopting Vista and may well take longer than the private sector - especially if it requires major hardware upgrades.
The consumer versions of Vista became available earlier this week, while the enterprise versions launched in November.
Despite the hype around the launch, UK businesses are adopting a cautious approach towards Vista. silicon.com's CIO Jury said they see few compelling reasons to upgrade and most will wait until at least 2008 before moving to the new OS