Windows 7 A No-Go For Business, Survey Says - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Windows 7 A No-Go For Business, Survey Says

Almost 60% of IT managers surveyed said their companies have no plans to adopt Microsoft's latest OS.

In a blow to Microsoft's hopes that Windows 7's release will motivate business customers to upgrade their corporate software, a new survey claims that the majority of enterprises have no plans to move to the company's latest operating system for their desktops and laptops.

Windows 7 screen shot
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59.3% of the 1,100 IT administrators that responded to a survey by management tools vendor ScriptLogic said they have no plans to deploy Windows 7.

42.7% of survey respondents said time and resources required to implement a new OS were the biggest barriers to deployment, while 39.1% cited application compatibility as the biggest hurdle.

34% of those surveyed said they would likely deploy Windows 7 by the end of 2010, while just 5.4% said they would move to the OS right after it debuts later this year.

Having largely shunned Vista, Microsoft's current OS, most businesses are still running Windows XP—which will be fully eight years old when Windows 7 debuts on Oct. 22nd. The Vista flop, combined with survey results that show tepid corporate interest in Windows 7, raises questions about Microsoft's ability to innovate in the enterprise market.

The situation also could create support headaches for IT managers, as Microsoft plans to phase out all support for Windows XP by 2014.

The chief complaints about Microsoft's post-XP operating systems center around application compatibility and computing resource requirements. Windows 7 is said to carry a lighter footprint than Vista, but Microsoft has warned that applications that don't work on Vista won't likely work on Windows 7 either, due to the fact that both are written on the same code base.

If Microsoft can't close the enterprise gap, it could open the door to competitors such as Linux vendors, IBM and its Open Collaboration Client, and even Google—with its newly announced Chrome OS.

Windows 7 appears to be faring better on the consumer front.

A number of retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, have started taking pre-orders for Windows 7. As of last week, the OS was Amazon's top seller in the software category. Retailers were pre-selling upgrade versions of the OS at a discount of more than 50% through a Microsoft promotional program that ended July 11.

A Release Candidate version of Windows 7 is currently available as a free download from Microsoft's Web site.

InformationWeek has published an indepth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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