Fewer Businesses Believe Vista is More Secure

Dennis Faas's picture

A recent survey of more than 250 CIOs, CSOs, IT managers and network administrators across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the U.S. conducted by PatchLink shows that fewer businesses are now planning a migration to Windows Vista than seven months ago.

More businesses are saying they'll either stick with the Windows thay have, or they'll switch to Linux or Mac OS X. The poll also shows that corporations are afraid of zero-day vulnerabilities.

Of the more than 250 businesses polled, 2% said they're already running Windows Vista. 9% said they plan to roll Vista in the next three months. 87% said they would stay with their existing versions(s) of Windows.

A similar poll conducted by PatchLink in December 2006 showed that 43% said they had plans to move to Vista. 53% said they planned to keep their existing versions(s) of Windows.

Recently, Microsoft announced shipments of 60 million units of Vista, though they failed to mention that of the 60 million, 42 million of those are part of their corporate volume licensing program.

One interesting thing to note about Microsoft's numbers and fiscal reports is that you never hear anything about audits from outside sources. Microsoft is famous for twisting numbers.

When asked by Zdnet.co.uk to confirm statistics from its chief operating officer Kevin Turner, Microsoft declined. Turner told financial analysts that "60 million units have been sold of Windows Vista into the marketplace." Microsoft could only confirm that 40 millions units had been sold and said the last figure is two months old.

Of the 42 million Vista units covered by volume licensing shipped, it's not known how many are actually using Windows Vista. Many businesses have reported in the past that they purchase new equipment and re-image them with Windows XP. Of the remaining 18 millions units shipped, it's hard to say how many have actually been sold or deployed.

The low-down on EULA

I've noted a few times in the past the the Windows Vista End User License Agreement (EULA) is bad news for consumers. It's just as bad if not worse for businesses.

In order to get certain features and extras such as Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), Multilingual User Interface (MUI) pack and bitlocker, businesses are required by Microsoft to purchase them through volume licensing.

It wasn't that way with Windows XP. Apparently, Microsoft is changing licensing terms to push customers to take on two or three year licensing contract obligations. In Microsoft's 2007 fiscal fourth quarter, unearned revenue for Microsoft's client division grew 25%. Volume licensing contracts account for more than 40% of business division revenue.

EULA does not exist for the customer's benefit. Being locked into a long contract and having to pay up front for upgrades when Microsoft makes no guarantee that new software versions will be available while you're under contract does nothing more than increase their bottom line. Microsoft has nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying to force Windows Vista on the public.

Nothing quite like being an appreciated customer, wouldn't you say?

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