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Survey of 450K corporate computers finds majority use Windows XP

The launch of Windows 7 is only days away and Microsoft has big hopes for the new OS. Many computer makers are also hoping that the new OS will spur consumers and businesses to buy new machines. Despite the hopes of computer makers and Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is playing down the roll of Windows 7 in improving PC sales.

In the corporate world, the vast majority of firms never upgraded to Vista. One of the reasons few corporations upgraded to Vista was that at the time it launched only 50% of the computers in use were able to run the OS and meet Vista's minimum requirements.

Microsoft will be glad to hear that 65% of current PCs in the corporate world are able to run Windows 7 in its optimal configuration. A mere 6% of computers could run Vista in it optimal configuration when it launched. Those percentages were compiled by IT asset management company Softchoice. The firm goes on to say that 88% of corporate computers can run Windows 7 at minimum specifications.

Softchoice Services Development Manager Dean Williams wrote in a research note, "Since so few organizations made the switch to Vista, over 90 percent of PCs have remained on Windows XP—an operating system about to celebrate its 10th birthday—while close to 5 percent are running operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports. Given the added risks and costs of maintaining aging infrastructure, organizations would be well advised to begin planning their move to more current technology. The fact that so many organizations are already entitled to do so through Microsoft's Software Assurance should remove cost as a potential barrier."

Softchoice found in a survey of 450,000 corporate PCs more than nine out of ten have Windows XP installed. Nearly one in ten have a combination of Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4 -- Vista was only found on 3% of computers.

"We've seen a sea change compared to the landscape in which Vista was introduced," Williams said. "Organizations have some work to do to shore up a small percentage of their fleet, but the natural PC refresh cycle has more or less eliminated system requirements as a potential stumbling block to deploying Windows 7. The migration question is now about understanding the benefits of switching as well as implementing a plan to minimize any potential deployment headaches."



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9 out of 10 use XP.....
By rdhood on 10/16/2009 12:32:30 PM , Rating: -1
Don't you think they should have provided an XP-to-Win7 migration path without reformatting/reinstalling OS/reinstalling Apps?

This upgrade is probably beyond the ability of the typical user, and noted as taking "several hours". Yuck. The cost to upgrade to this OS will cost more in labor than the OS itself. You want 9 out of 10 PC's to run this OS? Provide an upgrade path that does not include a complete reinstall of everything.




RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By jonmcc33 on 10/16/2009 12:37:18 PM , Rating: 5
I somehow don't think that normal users are going to be upgrading their computers to Windows 7. It will be their IT departments/support.

We're talking about the corporate world here, not home based users.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By Gunbuster on 10/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By The0ne on 10/16/2009 1:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm trying to understand your reasoning but can't. Windows7 has pretty good driver support already, even for old hardware. I've only had to deal with drivers like 2% out of my entire RC upgrades (fresh installs). And not more than 2 PCs are the same configuration so that counts for a bit. I've upgrade plenty of laptops, tablets, desktops and netbooks...replacing XP and especially the slow-*ss btch Vista.

So in that respect a company wouldn't need to spend money on new hardware to support Windows 7, granted the hardware isn't like a Pentium2 or something around there. However, that can be done although it'll take hours to get anything going.

The snappy UI of Windows 7 is reason enough for me to replace Vista. Before a flame ware begins on windows OSes try it before you comment. Put Vista on your older PC and then Win7 RC or RTM and see the difference in just the UI. That alone increases productivity by not having one wait for menu's to show, cursor to move and so forth. That's not to say it'll actually be any faster benchmark wise, just snappier to really be able to move around in.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/16/2009 1:57:21 PM , Rating: 3
Most companies tend to roll out a new OS in lock step with new systems being deployed to refresh older ones. It is very rare to see companies actually wipe and load existing systems with a newer OS. Generally it's done as hard disks or systems are replaced. Taking on average 1-2 years to move over the majority of the user base.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By Spivonious on 10/16/2009 12:43:41 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously?

I'd be willing to bet that 95% of corporations upgrading to 7 will simply re-image their machines. User data is not stored locally, and performing a manual install on each machine would take forever.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By Souka on 10/16/2009 1:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO, upgrading always comes back to bite ya in the ass.

True mid to large corporations will likely deploy an image by Symantec Ghost, Altiris, RIS, or other means.

Upgrading is still a manual process.

At my company we've avoided Vista except on a few laptops models that XP couldn't support properly. We're in full testing of Windows 7 and are preparing to build all new machines with it, and replace/reimage existing machines starting next year.

With the exception of a few hardware prepherials (personal printers, scanners, handheld data colectors (data transfered via serial interface and ancient Win95 software)) we haven't had any major issues with Win7.

I'm typing this on my work Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 7. On Vista I could barely make it through 2 hours of meetings. With Windows 7 I still have almost 50min of battery left.
(during meetings I'm in either taking notes or perfoming the presentation using my laptop).

My $.02


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By kamel5547 on 10/16/2009 1:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
User data is not stored locally


LOL. You mean user data is not SUPPOSED to be stored locally. It would be easier to do manual upgrades, and far easier to just wait for the asset to be retired.

I can't tell you how much user data is stored locally, in random folders across the C: drive (think c:\my documents instead of using the actual my documents folder).

I'm sure some businesses are probably different but my experience with users is that what they do and what they should do are very differnt things.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By jonmcc33 on 10/16/2009 2:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
That that is on the IT department to change that. Use Group Policy to force My Documents folder redirect. Remove local admin rights so that users can't create folders in the root of C: and train people to save only on network shares. Heck, migrate everyone to Sharepoint or something.

If you have people still saving stuff to their hard drives then it's a big sign that IT is NOT doing their job. Our job is to ensure that people have 100% 24/7 availability of resources to do their jobs and continue productivity. If people save data to their local drives and that hard drive dies then it is LOSS of productivity and that is on IT to prevent.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By Cerin218 on 10/16/2009 1:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Completely!! Images are a life saver here. I spend four or five hours creating an image and ten to fifteen minutes imaging the machine. When I am done, everything I need is on every computer I just imaged. They are all the same and we move forward.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By inighthawki on 10/16/2009 12:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't you think they should have provided an XP-to-Win7 migration path without reformatting/reinstalling OS/reinstalling Apps?

Well to be fair, while it is probably something that most consumers would want, i really think it would be best for them NOT to upgrade. Every version of windows has always ran best from a fresh install, and this prevents people who have tons of bloatware on their computer from complaining about performance issues early on.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By omnicronx on 10/16/2009 1:03:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Don't you think they should have provided an XP-to-Win7 migration path without reformatting/reinstalling OS/reinstalling Apps?
*shakes head*, you make this out to be an easy task. Show me any OS that has ever been released that has an upgrade path for an OS two releases prior and you may have a case. OS9 for example HAD no upgrade path to OSX at all. Desiging an upgrade path for a completely new kernel in which you expect the installed apps to work would be a nightmare. Furthermore in a work environment, there is a little thing called images, nobody reinstall the entire OS/apps manually these days.

Essentially unless you have a clean install, upgrades are worthless anyways. You are going to hit trouble down the road if you take a system that has been used for 2 years and try to upgrade it.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By SavagePotato on 10/16/2009 2:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the whacko mac crowd is they are thinking in terms of OSX.

Sure... It's easy to upgrade because it has been the same OS for the last x number of years.

Apple has just been releasing payed service packs and calling them a new OS.

Even then you have things like flippantly removing backward compatibility for powerpc hardware with snow leopard which is still yet another glorified payed service pack.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By Cerin218 on 10/16/2009 1:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Tough to create an upgrade path when you so fundamentally change the kernel and technologies from Windows XP. Besides I have never in my life trusted upgrading. I have witnessed far too much go wrong to no want to take the opportunity to start over with a clean load. It's just good computing.


RE: 9 out of 10 use XP.....
By jonmcc33 on 10/16/2009 2:55:37 PM , Rating: 1
The kernel has NOT been changed, just updated. Contrary to confusion, Microsoft cannot just completely change the kernel in risk of completely breaking all backwards compatibility.


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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