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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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Problem solved......
By kilkennycat on 4/13/2009 8:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
Suggestion to Microsoft:-

For every retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or higher, include a full copy of Windows XP-32 Pro SP3 using exactly the same Key. Also ensure that the Genuine Windows authentication doesn't care whether it sees XP or Windows 7 against that key, as long as the hardware-check is the same. This gives the customer the free choice of booting either Windows 7 or WinXP on his/her PC or dual-boot authentication if so desired. Now the decision WHEN to switch is entirely at the CUSTOMER'S discretion..... For Microsoft, the profit-loss is near-zero ( since they have already officially phased-out retail sales of WinXP Pro), just the cost of pressing the extra disk, plus they are perfectly entitled to keep the support phase-out date and support level of WinXP exactly the same as they have currently proposed. As for OEM installs of Windows7 (or XP Pro), leave the initial decision to the customer, but charge an extra fee -- say $50 for a disc with the alternate OS under the same key - should the customer freely want dual-boot access to both OS.

The problem with either Windows7 or Vista adoption in the business communities is compatibility with XP Applications. During the 6-year "nominal lifetime" of Windows XP, thousands of applications were developed, both commercial and custom. For many of those, there is either no upgrade path to Vista/Windows7 - the developer long since gone, but the application still performing flawlessly - or the upgrade is prohibitively expensive and brings zero user-benefit, not exactly what businesses want to hear at any time and certainly not in the middle of a painful recession.

There is no indication from Microsoft that they are going to improve the core compatibility of Windows 7 over that of Vista when running legacy applications. So unless Microsoft takes my suggestion to heart, they are going to have a very painful time indeed gaining traction with Windows 7 in business marketplaces both large and small. Enthusiasts may drool over Windows7 and its snappy improvements and extra features over Vista and Windows XP, but hard-headed business people pained by a recession are more likely to expectorate on Microsoft than to drool if implementation of Windows 7 gives them no tangible improvement (or worse still a loss) in productivity.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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