Businesses don't seem to be making a mad dash to Windows Vista. A nonscientific poll conducted on our Windows IT Pro Web site in early March found that a majority of the 752 respondents currently have no immediate plans to move to Vista. In answer to the question "When will your organization deploy Vista?" 55 percent answered "no plans." Another 16 percent said within 18 months.

These numbers come from a Web poll that welcomed any and all voters. Thus, they should be taken with a grain of salt, but they still probably provide some indication of where businesses are at in their thinking about Vista. And a slow move to Vista lines up with what I see in my own company and what industry experts seem to be anticipating.

However, the above percentages don't account for nearly 30 percent of respondents, who said they have already moved to Vista or will do so in the next year: 5 percent already deployed, 13 percent within 6 months, and 11 percent within 12 months. These voters are perhaps attracted to Vista's security features. Many industry pundits have commented that Vista's BitLocker Drive Encryption (BDE) feature, in particular, might lure customers to the new OS.

Meanwhile, last week, Microsoft reported that it sold more than 20 million Vista licenses in the software's first 30 days of general availability: January 30 through February 28. The company said this was more than double the number of Windows XP licenses sold in the first month after XP's launch. The Vista licenses sold, said Microsoft, include "licenses sold to PC manufacturers, copies of upgrades and the full packaged product sold to retailers, and upgrades ordered through the Windows Vista Express Upgrade program."

So, it appears that the move to Vista has begun, and whether consumers get there first, or businesses do, we'll all be there eventually. In anticipation of businesses migrating to Vista, we've been publishing a series of articles on Vista's security features. Many of these articles were originally published on the Security Pro VIP Web site or in its predecessor, the Windows IT Security newsletter. As subscribers, you have access to these. A few additional articles plus a couple podcasts are open to anyone who registers on the Windows IT Pro Web site. And a few more articles are open to those of you who are also Windows IT Pro subscribers.

Look for more Vista security articles in the coming months. Already scheduled are a Security Pro VIP piece about Vista's ActiveX Installer Service (in May), a Windows IT Pro article about public key infrastructure (PKI) enhancements in Vista and Windows Server Longhorn (this month), and a Windows IT Pro article about BDE (in June).

Vista Security Articles in Security Pro VIP and Windows IT Security

"Windows Firewall Shows New Maturity in Vista," Jan De Clercq, April 5, 2007
"Fighting Malicious Software with Windows Vista," Jan De Clercq, January 11, 2007
"Vista and Longhorn Promise Enticing EFS Enhancements," Jan De Clercq, November 2006
"Windows Vista's Take on Least Privilege" (User Account Control—UAC), Jan De Clercq, October 2006
"Roam, Roam in the Domain" (PKI credential roaming), Jan De Clercq, July 2006
Toolbox: "Windows Defender," Jeff Fellinge, July 2006
"Get Ready to Bump Up Security with IE 7.0," Jeff Fellinge, February 2006

Vista Security Podcasts

"Vista Security, Part 1: ASLR, UAC, Integrity Levels, and Beyond," Karen Forster and Stephen Toulouse, March 2, 2007
"Vista Security, Part 2: Windows Vista Kernel Mode Protection," Karen Forster and Stephen Toulouse, March 5, 2007

Vista Security Articles on the Windows IT Pro Web Site

"Can UAC Be Smarter?" Mark Minasi, March 12, 2007
"Waiting for Vista's Best Security Advances," Paul Thurrott, November 28, 2006
"Vista's BitLocker: Boon or Bust?" Paul Thurrott, May 2, 2006

Vista Security Articles for Windows IT Pro Subscribers

"What You Need to Know About Kernel Patch Protection," Paul Thurrott, February 2007
"Vista's Firewall," Jeff Fellinge, August 2006
"What You Need to Know About Windows Vista x64 Versions' Unique Security Features," Paul Thurrott, August 2006