Windows 7 Faces Indifference in the Business World


Microsoft’s next operating system may have a bumpy beginning based on a survey which shows that 83 percent of businesses don’t plan on upgrading to Windows 7 until at least 2011.

Mainstream support for Windows XP ends on April 14 but that doesn’t seem to be having much influence on the more than 1100 IT personnel who took part in a survey exploring the early potential of Windows 7. Citing expense and compatibility issues, 83 percent said they had no intentions of moving to Microsoft’s new platform within the first year of its release. That number is even more surprising given that “almost no large companies migrated to Vista,” according to InformationWeek, meaning that most are still running Windows XP and plan to do so for some time yet.

Things improve after the first year of release, although not dramatically so. 42 percent of respondents said they would roll out Windows 7 in 12 to 24 months of its release, 24 percent said they would wait 24 to 36 months and 17 percent said it would take more than 36 months before they went ahead with the move. And while a smooth and successful launch of a well-built operating system could change those numbers, it’s hard to deny that they represent bad news for Microsoft. The company’s death-grip on the PC market has been slipping, helped along by the unpopular Windows Vista, and fully half of the survey’s participants said they’ve considered switching to a non-Windows environment in order to avoid Vista or Windows 7.

Mainstream support for Windows XP is ending but “extended support,” which offers security updates to all users but reserves non-security-related hot-fixes only to companies with support contracts, will continue until April 2014.

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