New Study Reveals Developers Prefer XP

Dennis Faas's picture

In a market where software developers are always looking for the cutting edge, a recent survey revealed that newer is not always better. It turns out that developers prefer writing programs for older Windows operating systems, such as XP, to the newer Vista. (Source:

U.S. research group Evans Data Corp recently released the results of a poll of 380 North American software developers. The study asked which integrated development environment (IDE) they preferred, as well as which operating system they wrote programs for.

In the first section, respondents were asked to evaluate IDEs from the following categories: "debugger, editor, make/build functions, documentation, application modeling tools, Web design tools, sample applications, profiler, compiler performance, performance of resulting applications, ease of use, ability to integrate third-party tools, availability of third-party tools, quality of technical support options, and size and quality of developer community." IBM's Rational was the big winner among IDEs, including Microsoft Visual Studio, Sun Studio, Adobe Systems and Oracle.

In the second section, a whopping 49% of developers indicated that they wrote for XP, while only 8% focused their energies on Microsoft's much-hyped Vista. (Source:

Developers' reluctance to write programs for Vista is likely the result of the new operating system's rocky start. Joe Sweeney, advisor at analyst group IBRS, suggests, "We've seen a very big 'wait and see' approach with Vista, and with all the mistakes Microsoft has made in regards to it things aren't looking too good at the moment." (Source:

What this study seems to suggest is that if developers are reluctant to write for Vista, consumers should take note. An operating system that gives developers pause may indicate dark clouds on the horizon for Vista.

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