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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 story
By dickhertz on 4/13/2009 2:52:14 PM , Rating: 3
Logically most businesses will not deploy new operating systems (OS) immedidately for reasons already covered in prior comments.

There is a time lag many businesses need to factor in to their upgrade programs to ensure that all legacy Software that is used within their organisation will continue to work with the new OS and depending on size of the organisation this can involve considerable cost, time and resource. My experience is that many business will already be incorporating plans and budgets for upgrades into their forecasts and planning cycles and even now commencing preliminary compatibility testing for legacy SW, even then businesses would not be ready for deploying the new W7 OS from day 1 and 2011 expectations would be my guess for some to commence deploying W7.

I am running three seperate pieces of HW XP, Vista, and the Beta for W7 while I enjoy the reliability of XP as my primary HW device I have been impressed with the overall performance of W7 so far it has met all expectations with the exception of a couple of minor bugs which have all been resolvable thus far.

I did really struggled with Vista when I first used it I think that overall familarisation has helped me with W7 which is definately a superior product. The challenge for businesses will be training and development of their staff if they migrate XP to W7 (would be same for Vista), with the only brightside being that be the time 2011/2012 they deploy W7 a considerable number of the workforce will have upgraded their home computers.




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