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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 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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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