With only two months (barring further delays) until Windows Vista is due for business availability, InformationWeek surveyed 672 business technology managers to gauge their plans for the operating system. Microsoft should be happy to know that 39% of the businesses we surveyed plan to upgrade to Vista within the first year of availability. The top reason? Security, what else?InformationWeek Research Managing Editor Lisa Smith is working up a complete analysis of the survey findings, and we'll make those available within the next week or so. I got an early peek at the results, and one of the things I was most interested in learning about was the motivations behind the move to Vista. Our research clearly shows security improvements will be the No. 1 driver of Vista adoption among business IT buyers.
We asked, "Which of the following Vista features are of most interest to your company?" The options included:
Improved performance, reliability, backup More sophisticated user interface Networking advances Improved search and organization Security--account control and malware prevention Internet Explorer 7 Speech recognition Windows sidebar and gadgets
Vista's security features were cited by 89% of survey respondents as being of interest, well ahead of anything else. That's consistent with a Windows Vista survey conducted by InformationWeek Research six months ago, when "enhanced security" was mentioned more than any other reason for considering a Vista upgrade. As InformationWeek's Aaron Ricadela wrote at the time, "Companies find lots of reasons to put off buying nice-to-have features like better graphics and collaboration, but something that might lock down data on a laptop stolen from an employee's car feels more urgent." (See "A Clearer View Of Vista.")
In fact, interest in Vista security is on the rise. Six months ago, 68% of respondents cited enhanced security as a reason for considering an upgrade to Vista. That number jumps to 77% in our latest poll. Given the ongoing security problems with Microsoft's current software, it's easy to see why.
So the pent up demand is there. Now if only Microsoft can demonstrate convincingly that Vista really does make PCs more secure, the rest should be smooth sailing. The odds of that happening? We didn't ask.