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8/15/2005
03:50 PM
John Foley
John Foley
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The Planning Begins For Windows Vista

Now that Microsoft has released its Windows Vista operating system for beta testing, we decided to ask people when their companies will begin to deploy the finished product. One key finding: Only one in five respondents say they'll begin implementing the operating system within 12 months of general availability.

Now that Microsoft has released its Windows Vista operating system for beta testing, we decided to ask people when their companies will begin to deploy the finished product. One key finding: Only one in five respondents say they'll begin implementing the operating system within 12 months of general availability.

InformationWeek conducted the informal online poll the last week of July, posing the question: "When will your company begin implementing Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, which is in beta testing now and due in 2006?"

Of the 160 people who responded, 12% indicated they would begin a Vista rollout within six months of availability, and another 8% put the time frame at six to 12 months. A more sizable group, 24%, is aiming for somewhere between 12 months and 24 months. The largest chunk, 33%, says it will be two years or longer after release before they begin Vista upgrades.

About a quarter of poll takers (24%) have no plans for Vista.

Let's not draw too much from this early sampling. Vista isn't due until the second half of next year, and our poll was a quick snapshot, not an in-depth survey. It's reasonable to expect attitudes to change as Vista's release date gets closer and we learn more about it.

As always, financial analysts are paying close attention to customers' plans for Windows upgrades. Merrill Lynch yesterday reiterated a "neutral" rating on Microsoft's stock, citing, among other things, "a still-evolving perspective on the slope of the upgrade cycle" for Vista and the related Office 12 applications suite.

For a review of Vista, see Scot Finnie's "Windows Vista Beta 1: A Guided Tour."

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