So, will Vista spur greater interest in switching to IPv6? The consensus seems to be that it may help, but it probably wont bring IPv6 top-of-mind.
The transition will not be easy, Microsoft concedes on its IPv6 site. The conversion from IPv4 to IPv6 will be a larger task for the industry than the preparation for Year 2000. It will affect nearly all networked applications, end-systems, infrastructure systems, and network architectures.
Several experts believe that the next two years will see a dramatic increase in IPv6 utilization.
With several carriers and Internet Service Providers implementing IPv6 in their networks, and companies such as Microsoft including operating system and application support for IPv6, the IPv6 adoption rate will greatly accelerate in the U.S. over the next 24 months, says Geesey.
IPv6 will be deployed faster than most people expect it to, adds Hain. Windows Vista will serve to smooth out the challenges of that process for the system administrator. At the same time Vista and the follow-on applications will provide shorter term motivation for the network manager to be proactive in turning on native IPv6 routing.
Other experts believe it will take a killer app to get companies to switch.
According to David Powner, director of information technology management issues for the Government Accountability Office, Operating systems that can take advantage of key IPv6 features will help to promote the transition to IPv6, but the pace by which private and government entities transition will ultimately be driven by applications that utilize the new features.