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

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
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.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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