eWEEK Survey: Windows Vista? Gimme Windows XP

Two operating systems are holding back Windows Vista adoption: Windows XP and—eh, well—Vista.A new eWEEK enterprise survey validates many of this blog's perspectives about Windows Vista. XP stands in the way, and enterprises are hugely underwhelmed by successor Vista.While consistent with other Vista adoption surveys, eWEEK's study makes an important distinction between primary and secondary […]

Two operating systems are holding back Windows Vista adoption: Windows XP and—eh, well—Vista.

A new eWEEK enterprise survey validates many of this blog's perspectives about Windows Vista. XP stands in the way, and enterprises are hugely underwhelmed by successor Vista.

While consistent with other Vista adoption surveys, eWEEK's study makes an important distinction between primary and secondary operating systems and puts them in context of small, midsize and large business Vista migration plans. The distinction is vital to understanding businesses' real response to Vista.

When a survey says X number of businesses will deploy Vista in X time period, the data can be misleading; most businesses stagger software deployments, rather than switching wholesale. The eWEEK survey captures the nuances between beginning Vista migrations and primary operating systems used.

For example, the survey found that more than 60 percent of businesses will begin Vista deployments in six months or more. At first glance, the number is a huge endorsement for Windows Vista. Instead, because of the primary operating system distinction, the survey results offer a dim view—eh, vista—for enterprise adoption of Microsoft's flagship Windows. Most respondents, that's 72 percent, expect to be using their current operating system in 2009. For 92 percent of businesses, the current operating system is Windows XP. Ouch.

Microsoft should be concerned by survey results like these. Windows Vista looks more and more like Windows Me Two (II or 2, if you like). The results don't portend well for Vista successor Windows 7, which increasingly looks like a minor upgrade. Microsoft is tentatively scheduled to release Seven next year.

I would advise Microsoft and its partners to look closely at that big number for Mac OS X as primary operating system among small and midsize businesses. Mac OS X is doing surprising well as primary operating system among businesses between 10 and 99 employees—15 percent! That number doesn't include very small businesses, or those with fewer than 10 employees. The survey is a huge validation of Apple's small business strategy.

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Survey, Windows Vista, Windows XP