Thursday, 18 March 2010 15:20

Windows 7 concerns ease


Windows 7 could be adopted by a majority of corporates by the end of 2010, if a new survey is correct.

A survey conducted by Dimensional Research for Dell's Kace business unit just three months after Windows 7's release found 87% of corporate IT organisations were already planning to migrate to Microsoft's new operating system, and 58% expected to deploy it this year.

This compares very favourably with Vista: only 47% participants in an earlier survey conducted nine months after Vista's release said they had plans to deploy that operating system.

Bucking the conventional wisdom, almost half (46%) of respondents said they would not delay deployment of Windows 7 until Service Pack 1 was released.

Not surprisingly, concerns about Windows 7 were well down compared with a similar survey in April 2009 (57% vs 67%). This was especially true for stability and performance concerns.

The main area of concern is still software compatibility, and that only eased from 88% to 86% over the nine month interval.

How much interest is there in alternative operating systems? Please read on.

Interestingly, respondents were still more concerned about the cost and overhead of migrating to Windows 7 than that associated with an increasingly out of date Windows XP. The tide is moving in Windows 7's favour, with the ratio changing from 28:72 in April 2009 to 40:60 in January 2010.

What the report doesn't reveal is the extent to which these attitudes reflect the inevitable reduction in uncertainty that followed Windows 7's release, perceptions that staying with XP is becoming more costly, or some other consideration.

One finding that will be especially welcomed by Microsoft is the substantial fall in the proportion of respondents considering a non-Windows desktop operating system.

That statistic spiked to 50% last year (following 42% in 2008 and 44% in 2007), possibly due to dissatisfaction with Vista and interest in alternatives such as Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Curiously, expressed interest in Mac OS X rose to 32%, following a smaller drop in 2009.

Interest in Suse Linux continues to fall (now 11%), and Ubuntu dropped back to 22%, almost reversing the gain made in 2009. Red Hat Linux regained a little of the ground it lost last year, rising to 21% compared with 20% in 2009 and 24% in 2008.


An 'any Linux' figure would have been interesting than numbers for each distribution. It's hard to be certain in the absence of information, but it seems likely that an organisation considering switching to Linux (as opposed to actually planning a switch) would be thinking of evaluating more than one distribution.

The survey received 923 complete responses from hands-on IT professionals (41%), IT managers (29%), IT executives (26%), and others.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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