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Windows 7 features a cleaner interface, a leaner footprint, and better hardware compatibility. However, according to a recent survey 83 percent of IT professionals at major companies are planning to wait more than a year to upgrade. Shrinking budgets and concern over software compatibility are two key issues.  (Source: Microsoft)
Most business will wait until at least 2011 to upgrade to the new Microsoft OS, study says

After an energetic success with Windows XP, poor support from hardware partners and initial bad publicity marred Microsoft's follow-up effort, Windows Vista.  Many businesses, including trusted partners like Intel, turned their back on Windows Vista and adopted a wait-and-see attitude.  While any OS release sees only partial adoption in the business community (companies typically upgrade only once every several years), comments from several large firms cited perceived issues with Vista itself as one reason to delay upgrading.

Now as Microsoft prepares to release Windows 7 -- which is being lauded as a much more cohesive effort than Vista, including with better hardware support -- the company hopes that business partners will warm back up to a Windows upgrade.  That's not the case, though, according to a recent survey by market research firm Dimensional Research, which found that most companies won't upgrade next year.

The firm writes, "Early beta testers are providing many glowing reports about the functionality and performance of Windows 7, especially compared to Windows Vista.  But is corporate IT excited about the new operating system, or do they dread yet another release?"

The firm surveyed 1,100 IT professionals at large firms.  Over 83 percent reported that they planned to skip the OS in the New Year.  As few large companies migrated to Windows Vista, this figure proves surprising, as it means that many companies plan to continue to use Windows XP, which mainstream support for ends this week.  Overall,
42 percent said they planned to deploy within 12 to 24 months, 24 percent said 24 to 36 months, and 17 percent said that they will wait more than 36 months to deploy, if at all.

The delay is not wholly Microsoft's fault, according to the study.  The researchers say that companies, faced with recession-stricken budgets, simply cannot afford the expenditures need to upgrade to a new OS.  Software compatibility is another major concern too, though.  States the report, "
The majority of participants do not plan to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year. Economic factors are contributing to the delay in Windows 7 adoption for almost half of all participants. Software compatibility is the most frequently cited concern with Windows 7."

While Microsoft has for the most part done much to assuage consumer fears about the latest Windows OS, it apparently still has a ways to go with addressing businesses' concerns.  Of the surveyed, 67 percent reported concerns over software compatibility and 88 percent of those reporting concerns said it was their primary concern with adopting Windows 7.

Trepidation among the business community to adopt Windows 7 could worsen the economic concerns for both Microsoft and PC retailers like HP and Dell.  The adoption hesitance could spill over into the consumer market, ultimately hurting most major PC players, while helping only a few -- like budget Linux OS providers offering cheaper deployments.  The survey did find that 50 percent have considered a switch to a non-Windows OS due to Vista or Windows 7 concerns.

Despite all its hard work and advances in generating what looks to be a rock-solid consumer product, can Microsoft convince the IT community to switch to Windows 7 early?  The answer may lie in how smoothly the transition goes for the 17 percent of those planning to adopt in the first year.  These deployments will be absolutely critical to Microsoft as success could bring gains in reputation, which could bump up its adoption across the entire business community.

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RE: This is a story why???
By Boze on 4/13/2009 11:40:00 AM , Rating: 5
I really don't know why this is considered newsworthy either.

As a general rule, most businesses never upgrade to the latest and greatest of anything. After the Windows Vista debacle, of course this makes businesses even more wary of the situation.

The general problems in the business world that prevent constant updating are:

1. Cost - It costs money to purchase the upgrade licenses for each computer. Sometimes, its necessary to upgrade the computers themselves in order to ensure high performance and productivity.

2. Ease of Use - How familiar will most employees be with the new software? It took me quite awhile to feel "comfortable" with Windows Vista, and I still find myself searching for things on occasion because I been using XP for 7 years now.

3. Compatibility - Not just with hardware, but with existing software and specialized in-house programs. Will the new OS work with Boze Beetle Basher 1.2.7? No? You mean we have to rewrite our custom apps??

All of these things (and probably more) weigh heavily on the IT department's mind when they hear about new OS releases from Microsoft, and rightly so. Its a huge trickle down effect. The IT department as a whole needs training to learn everything they possibly can about the new OS. The end users are going to have to learn basic operating of the OS if things are radically redesigned. I'm hoping with Windows 7, Microsoft makes things much "easier" to do, like Mac OS X... I'm no Apple fan, by any stretch of the imagination, but its hard to find fault in Apple's operating system when judged on the merit of ease of use... and with Windows 7 it seems like Microsoft is realizing that.

RE: This is a story why???
By StevoLincolnite on 4/13/2009 12:07:29 PM , Rating: 5
After the Windows Vista debacle, of course this makes businesses even more wary of the situation.

Is it me or do people seem to forget the buggy first release of Windows 95, Windows ME (That was always a lost cause...) and even Windows XP?

When XP was first released the Operating System had very minimal driver support, it was demanding on systems where most places were happily running there Celeron 300 machines on Windows 98/2000, and most software was un-reliable at best, things like Alcohol/Nero didn't even work on XP when the OS first shipped, at that stage most software was optimized for the use with a Win9X operating system, and some just refused to agree to go out on a lunch date with an NT based Operating system.

XP did have an up-side however, and that was the fact that a Program crash didn't always crash the entire system, and you saw allot less Blue-Screens of death.

The "Vista" Debacle was just a repeat of history, however this time around people are far more vocal about it.

Regarding Windows 7 vs Vista, Windows 7 is an amazing piece of software, I have been running Windows 7 Beta 24/7 for months now without a single issue, and considering it's only a Beta...

Plus most businesses wait a long time to upgrade anyway, upgrading is potential down-time/costs/potential additional training of staff/additional support/compatibility issues.

RE: This is a story why???
By leexgx on 4/13/2009 1:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
if you have used windows from win95 up to XP the interface for the most part is the same from an user stand point with, and users that use them know how to use them, with vista the interface is changed as 1 thay removed the start name of the button so you say press the start thay play stuped and ask where that is, networking on vista is far more complicated and some times does not work

all admins know in and out of XP on how to set it up

for corp users NT4 2000 and XP are all the same

corps are not going to Start to upgrade to windows 7 or its next ver (most will Never deploy vista due to its messed up networking and High system requrements or HW replacement) untill XP has No more support in 2015

going to be playing with win7 as my prime OS as i have an spare hdd,{testing} considering its been running on an VMware box it has been working very fast so if its running as an installed os should be good (hopefuly thay have Fixed superfetch so it does not Load up the cache at the same time other programs are trying to load up {I/O Priorty to other threads} as it can slow the pc down alot when superfetch is loading up the ram, SSD makes all the vista hdd problems go away)

the comments the post before stevo's post i agree with compleaty

RE: This is a story why???
By StevoLincolnite on 4/14/2009 2:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
if you have used windows from win95 up to XP the interface for the most part is the same from an user stand point with, and users that use them know how to use them, with vista the interface is changed as 1 thay removed the start name of the button so you say press the start thay play stuped and ask where that is, networking on vista is far more complicated and some times does not work

Actually I have used Windows from Windows 3.11 to Windows 7, I don't class DOS as a "Windows Operating System".

Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 was a MASSIVE shift in GUI, and yes people did get lost with the move, but it also came with many benefits, hence it ended up selling extremely well.

From Windows 9x/NT/2K to Windows XP was also another large Shift in Graphical User Interface changes, the basic layout was still the same, but there was allot more to it all, hell Networking even got me confused for awhile, I was used to setting everything manually in Win9x and then XP brought the Network set-up wizard along, I also found I didn't need to use the "Run" Command either to set-up dial-up internet connections by going: Start >>> Run >>> inetwiz

The start "Button" is still there, it's just that the naming has gone, doesn't mean the function isn't the same however.

I do agree with you on the networking aspects, when I shifted from XP to Vista I found it confusing and annoying, then when I started to use Windows 7 it seemed to work my way allot easier, despite the layout being exactly the same as Vista's. - The new layout is something that you get used to, and you will either hate it or love it, and you can still do allot of the same networking stuff as you can in Windows XP by going into adapter settings, then right clicking on the adapter and set the I.P's etc' that way.

Windows has evolved over the years, for the better or for the worst is up to the user, if you find it annoying there are alternatives like: Sticking with your current OS, going the way of the Mac or shifting to Linux.

RE: This is a story why???
By mindless1 on 4/13/2009 2:01:25 PM , Rating: 3
It's not quite a repeat for several reasons.

1. Win9x was far less stable, even after all patches, than XP was after Sp1. That filled a great need in the business community unlike what Vista brings to the table now and Win7 tomorrow.

2. XP brought significant Admin control and a basic level of security.

3. XP provided support for key features like multiple core processors, larger hard drives, and enough memory to do the majority of tasks a business does.

The main thing that'll make businesses switch to Vista is that it comes on new systems and end of support for XP, not their choice to upgrade. Same goes for Win7, whatever need a business had for their computing they have already solved with XP so there simply aren't the same reasons to switch today that there were at the end of the 9x era.

RE: This is a story why???
By stromgald30 on 4/13/2009 3:02:38 PM , Rating: 5
Vista/Win7 is actually much more secure than XP. The move, IMO, will be motivated by security and better native support for SSDs, flash drives, and a host of new technologies since XP was developed. Of course, MSFT could keep XP up to date with patches, but we all know that won't happen forever.

Personally, I think Vista will be like ME. No company will adopt it. They will just hold out with outdated XP systems until Win7 SP1 comes out. Then, there will be a mass migration.

RE: This is a story why???
By TomZ on 4/13/2009 3:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, MSFT could keep XP up to date with patches, but we all know that won't happen forever.
The days of functionality-adding patches for XP are done. Mainstream support has ended now.

As to your comment about Vista, I wonder about that myself. I kind of think that companies would be more likely to upgrade to Vista after Windows 7 comes out, instead of upgrading right to Windows 7. Most companies avoid the latest OS release as a general rule. But on the other hand, considering the perception many people have of Vista, deserved or not, I wonder if that will encourage IT folks to skip Vista and go for Windows 7.

I guess in the end, some percentage will go down each path, instead of in the past where you could be almost certain that corporate IT would stay one major release behind.

RE: This is a story why???
By MrBungle123 on 4/13/2009 4:58:01 PM , Rating: 3
I think most IT departments are taking the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" philosophy on this issue.

You can make a case for a Vista over XP if you're using your computer for games and entertainment type stuff like a regular home user, but what does it offer a business?

Sure there is increased secutrity but the whole network is likely behind some sort of firewall(s) and each workstation likely has internet filters on them as it is.

DX10 is great if you want the latest graphics but when your primary use is document creation and other productivity type applications it is of little value. Not to mention how many word processors need more than the 4GB limit on system memory of a 32bit OS like XP?

It sounds like a hassle that doesn't net you any real gains. You get a pretty new interface that requires re-teaching any of your technically illiterate users how to navigate windows, then you have to work out any compatibility issues that may [will] arise, and you can have it all at a cost of $200+ per machine. Whats the point?

RE: This is a story why???
By dgingeri on 4/13/2009 7:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
The business advantages to Vista are this:

User security - with UAC (and the ability of being able to make sure a user can't turn it off) should keep most viruses, trojans, and spyware off your computers

network security - the much more effective firewall will keep out many more security nightmares

Driver stability - the 64-bit version forces drivers to be tested and supported properly, you would have far fewer driver related crashes and other issues than with XP

better performance - I can say, as a Vista user at home, the Office type apps start and run far faster in Vista than XP thanks to Superfetch

Now, there are significant downsides, such as app compatibility and configuration issues. Personally, I'd stick with XP for a business, but to say there are no advantages would be a total lie.

Oh, and BTW, the 4GB advantage is not for word processors, but I have about 30% of our users begging for extra memory due to running virtuals. Most of our developers use virtuals for all their work, with 64-bit XP as just a base OS with no apps other than Virtual PC. Our QA department run 6-10 virtuals (only 1 or 2 at a time) in order to test new code and apps. Out project management team runs 2 virtuals so they can have multiple instances of their project management software open. (Many web based project management apps are notorious for only being able to have one open at a time.) Memory is a hot commodity, and having a 64-bit OS available is vital to our company.

RE: This is a story why???
By dgingeri on 4/13/2009 4:34:27 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, Boze.

The company I have worked for in IT for the last 4 years got bought out about 2 years ago, just before we started planning to roll out Vista and Office 2007. our new corporate overlords have put a severe kibosh on that because of their own stupid IT decisions.

In order for our parent company to upgrade, they would have to pay for nearly all of their licenses because they didn't buy them with Software Assurance. In the mean time, we have had to buy under their corporate licensing, meaning none of our new licenses ave it either. All our previous licenses were purchased with SA, so we would be able to upgrade at nearly no cost. They refuse to allow us to upgrade because they can't.

Anyway, we're stuck because the European fat cat executives had to go an buy their licenses without any foresight. (What is it with European management and their hatred for IT in general. 3 IT people is not enough to support 400+ users! We need to replace those who left!) Maybe the eventual cost of the upgrade when XP becomes dangerously insecure from a lack of patches will make them remember. Probably not, though.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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