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Survey: Businesses Prepare For Windows Vista

Amid pent-up demand, concerns range from the operating system's security to hardware compatibility.

Windows Vista screenshot

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If Microsoft can get Windows Vista out the door in a timely manner, plenty of businesses are ready to begin deploying the operating system. But when it comes to Windows release dates, IT professionals have learned to be skeptical. Fewer than half believe Microsoft will release Vista as scheduled by the end of next month, according to a Web survey of 672 business technology professionals conducted last month by InformationWeek Research.

The survey of Vista adoption plans finds that 96% of IT pros consider their companies somewhat or very committed to Windows, and 39% plan to install Vista within a year of its release. However, 55% of respondents are "not at all" confident that Microsoft will meet its November deadline, and a mere 5% are very confident. Microsoft officials continue to insist the operating system is on track for business availability in November. Consumer versions of Vista are due two months after that.

Adoption Plans, pie chartTwo-thirds of companies plan on installing Vista during its first year or sometime later, primarily Vista's Business and Enterprise editions. The rollout will be gradual. Most will transition up to a quarter of PCs to Vista the first year, up to half the second year, and the rest of their PCs in the third year.

For about two-thirds of companies, the move to Vista will involve a combination of PC upgrades and new PC purchases. A quarter will bring in Vista mainly when they buy new PCs.

As always, new Windows will push aside old Windows. Nine of 10 companies plan to use Vista to replace Windows XP and more than half to replace Windows NT or Windows 2000.

Windows Longhorn Server and Office 2007 will go along for the ride. Four out of five companies plan to purchase Windows Longhorn Server, due in the second half of 2007, and 43% say Office 2007 is somewhat or very important to their Vista purchas- ing plans.

In-Demand Features, bar chartSecurity Catch
Windows security continues to be a conundrum. Security is cited as the leading reason companies are considering a move to Vista. Yet more than a third of respondents report that one of their biggest worries about Vista is its security.

PC hardware requirements are another concern--in fact, the top among survey respondents. While nearly half of companies report that Vista's hardware requirements (an 800-MHz processor, 512 Mbytes of memory, and DirectX 9 graphics processor) won't be an issue, 38% worry those requirements may not be enough. One in six respondents anticipates the need to upgrade PCs in order to run Vista.

Among the other Vista-related concerns: cost, lack of training, and insufficient expertise of IT staff and users.


Vista Worries, bar chartCompatibility Concerns, pie chart
On The Way Out, bar chart