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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: Perfect Storm?
By BZDTemp on 10/16/2009 2:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
All those PC's may be upgradeable but why would anyone want to?

I do not see 7 offering anything really needed for business. Sure if you build a new company it may be worth starting with 7 (or OS X) but not many companies will upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. A new OS means training, testing that ll software runs and all that - the process of upgrading is just the little part. And then there is the unknown - are there any bugs not yet found.

I think MS is trying their hardest to spin 7 as a success hoping it will make many jump on. But I'd be surprised to see anyone but us geeks and those home user buying new computer really getting on the wagon anytime soon.

XP may be old but it runs great (even on the latest hardware). Unless you need DX11 (or DX10 and currently run XP) then why upgrade when it means spending time & money. At home I'd recommend spending the money on anything but an OS.

RE: Perfect Storm?
By Omega215D on 10/16/2009 3:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 is more secure than XP and it has better networking capabilities than XP.

RE: Perfect Storm?
By damianrobertjones on 10/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Perfect Storm?
By dgingeri on 10/16/2009 4:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
hey now, I'm not lazy. I like to work smart instead of hard.

I do agree that W7, as well as Vista, are far better, more secure, and easier to troubleshoot than XP. Really, no extra training is required, but it would be good for support personel to get some books on the changes. If they can't figure it out from some minor book info and actually using the OS, then they shouldn't be working as techs. I know that's the way I've always learned the new OSes that come out. I get them and play with them to learn them.

While I don't have any corporate experience with Vista, I have used it at home for a while. I also have the release candidate of W7 on my secondary machine, so I have experience with it. All support people should be doing exactly that. If they don't, they should be fired from support.

Just as I wouldn't trust a chef who wouldn't eat his own food or a mechanic with a broken down car, I wouldn't trust a tech with a crappy Windows XP system at home.

RE: Perfect Storm?
By damianrobertjones on 10/16/2009 3:54:34 PM , Rating: 1
P.s. ANy company that hasn't tested Win 7 and currently knows it's limitations is lazy. The RTM has been out long enough.

You're making it sound harder than it is!

RE: Perfect Storm?
By BZDTemp on 10/16/2009 6:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of how much testing is done it is no match for the years of real use that is invested in XP. Also remember the OS is just the foundation on which the applications run and they will need testing also. Just something as IE8 now being the browser can cause problems.

Sure as admin it might be fun and exciting with a new OS but there is no need to rush out and upgrade. When you run hundreds or maybe thousands of PC's upgrading is not a trivial matter. Of course 7 is being looked at most forward looking responsible IT departments but so is OS X and Linux. With more and more moving into on-line apps (be it intranet or internet) then the OS means less and less and it really gets down to which browser it can run.

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