Microsoft has lofty ambitions for its next generation
Windows Vista operating system as witnessed by statements made by the company in
early October. Today,
IDC issued some new projections for Windows Vista including the notion that
over 90 million units of the operating system will ship in 2007 worldwide. That
figure far outpaces Microsoft's assessment of 67
million units in the first year of availability for Windows XP.
"After a long wait, the adoption of Windows Vista will
take place almost immediately among consumers, while businesses will follow a
decidedly more conservative adoption curve," says Al Gillen, research VP
of System Software at IDC.
On the consumer side, Vista Home Basic is expected to garner
67% of Vista purchases while Vista Home Premium will account for 30%. The
enthusiast-oriented Vista Ultimate will account for 2% of the product mix with
just 1% of consumers choosing Vista Business for use in home deployments.
For businesses, Vista Business will account for 82% of Vista
deployments while Vista Enterprise will capture the remaining 18%.
Overall, IDC projects that 90% of new Windows client
installations for home users will be comprised of Vista Home Basic/Vista Home
Premium during the first year. On the business side, Vista Business/Vista
Enterprise will account for just 35% of new client installations during the
first year – that number rises to 80% during the second year of availability.
But while consumers buying new PCs will pretty much be
forced into using Windows Vista after the start of the year, businesses are likely to be a
bit more discriminating. Businesses typically wait until at least the first
service pack for a new Windows operating system is released before they do any
large roll-outs throughout the company.
Gartner suggests that companies should spend as much as 18
months testing a new operating system before moving to large-scale deployments.
With Vista being launched for businesses tomorrow,
now is the time to begin the testing phase (if companies haven't already done
so with earlier versions of Vista). "If companies do decide to upgrade the
biggest barrier will be application compatibility - 80 per cent of your
applications will work and 20 per cent won't work. The vast majority of
customers we speak to are looking at 2008 to upgrade but they need to start
planning now," said Frank Foxall of Windows migration specialist Camwood.