Vista incompatibilities starting to appear

Windows Vista is only out a week and the incompatibilities are already rolling in. Yesterday, it was iTunes that hit the headlines with Apple making an announcement on its website. More importantly for the likes of me because it affects my work, SAS has announced that Vista compatibility will not be assured until it launches SAS 9.2. This is not exactly a surprise because they have been advising against using Internet Explorer 7 with their products as they have not carried out their validation. Given that this company is cautious about operating system support anyway, it may be that SAS 9.1.3 runs on Vista but they have not validated it to the standards that a large enterprise user would expect. Now, the BBC’s Robert Peston writes an open letter to Bill Gates in his blog following a lost weekend with a laptop running Vista. His problems were hardware related.

There is one surprising thing about all of this: test versions of Vista have been out since last summer and OEM since November or thereabouts. Why have other software and hardware vendors not being looking ahead for this sort of thing? SAS’s advice regarding IE7 is in the same vein and even more surprising. I realise that there is only so much that can be done with a non-final version or, for that matter, in two months but some forward thinking surely could have been employed. I know that full legacy compatibility is a big job but it does look as if someone sat on their laurels. Or else, they are not allowing the release of Vista to upset their development and launch schedules and, given that Microsoft’s offering is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, they might well have a point. I think I’ll sit on the fence for a while longer…