Since Practice Management Software can be the glue that holds a firm together, I am going to look at how the two most widely used ones will work with Window’s new operating system, Vista and their new office suite, Office 2007.
TimeMatters 8.0 will work with Vista and Office 2007 as long as you download Service Release 1A. TimeMatters does have a White Paper (http://www.timematters.com/products/timematters/pdf/Time_Matters_Windows_Vista_White_Paper.pdf) on what to expect with Vista. One issue is going to be third party links like Palm and Blackberry which are not supported by Vista at the writing of this post.
Amicus Attorney V+ and Small Firm will work with Vista as long as you change the install path. Amicus 7 will not work with Vista, but this will be fixed in the next service release. Most of the features of Office 2007 do NOT work Amicus at this time. Again, I would expect a patch in the near future to clear this up.
The big issue with Amicus 7 Premium and TimeMatters 8 Enterprise is that SQL Server 2000 and 2005 DOES NOT SUPPORT VISTA. You are going to have to wait to SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (1st Quarter of 2007) and a patch to SQL Server 2000 before you get that compatibility. That is the deal breaker right there for most of my clients.
Our firm, as a rule of thumb does not recommend any upgrades until they have been out for at least 3 months. During that time we will run the software in house and keep our ear to the ground before we decide to recommend the upgrade, or to wait. If your computer dies tomorrow and you try to purchase a new one through Dell, they are going to ship with Vista and Office 2007, so it is really out of your control. For the time being, you can still get XP with HP, but I don’t know how long that will last.
Try to hold off on a purchase of a new workstation for awhile, and if you must, be prepared for a couple of hiccups. For the record I think Vista and Office 2007 are wonderful products and will increase attorney’s productivity and provide for more security and stability.