Study Says 83% of IT Pros Hesitant about Windows 7

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft may end up needing to keep Windows XP -- support for which has recently ended -- around a little longer. According to a recent study, the vast majority of corporate IT departments won't think about implementing Windows 7 until at least 2011.

Despite early enthusiasm for Windows 7 by beta testers, a new survey reveals that 83% of responding IT professionals have no plans to upgrade their existing Windows systems to Windows 7 in the next year. (Source:

Additionally, 42% said their organizations plan to deploy Windows 7 within 12 to 24 months of its release, 24% plan to wait 24 to 36 months, and 17% plan to wait more than 36 months before migrating to Windows 7.

Vista Cited as Reason for Slow Adoption

A recent survey by KACE (a systems management appliance company) revealed that many of the respondents cited the shortcomings of Windows Vista as the leading reason for slowly adopting to Windows 7. Software compatibility, the cost of implementation, and the current financial meltdown were also major factors.

According to the survey, 83% of the respondents are likely to skip Windows Vista altogether and eventually migrate directly to Windows 7.

More than 1,100 IT workers were polled. 50% of those are considering moving from Windows altogether to Macintosh or Linux, up almost 10% from a similar survey conducted last July. Vista may be the reason for that.

Diane Hagglund, author and senior analyst for Dimensional Research, says that the "negative public perception of Vista seems to have helped build this layer of distrust with Windows 7." (Source:

A Brief Breakdown of Survey Findings

  • 83% of respondents don't plan to upgrade existing equipment until next year
  • 72% are more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying with Microsoft's outdated Windows XP operating system
  • 50% have considered moving from Windows to an alternative system, with 27% of those citing the Mac OS as the top alternative
  • Almost 60% of respondents have no means to automate operating system migration

Budget freezes, staff reductions and other economic factors were also cited as reasons for not immediately adopting Windows 7.

Another Crack in Microsoft's Credibility

According to Information Week, if Windows 7 fails to catch on early, it may cause more problems for the wider IT market, which could slow sales and innovation. If the corporate market shuns Windows 7 the way it did computers bearing the Vista logo, large PC OEM's and system integrators may be affected. (Source:

Support and compatibility problems could again be disastrous for Microsoft.

Corporations that won't be upgrading from XP to Windows Vista or Win7 until 2011 could also be facing a two-year service gap. If Windows 7 ends up being released too early, Microsoft and the PC market as a whole will be facing another bombshell.

As noted by Information Week, the contrast between the glowing reports of Windows 7 beta and the tepid forecasts as implied by the KACE/Dimensional Research study shows that Microsoft's biggest challenge with Windows 7 may have less to with technical issues and more to do with restoring lost credibility in the enterprise PC market.

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