updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon April 13, 2009
Offices May Avoid Win 7
In spite of feature improvements, Windows 7 may face as much resistance as Vista in businesses, a study from Dimensional Research shows. An examination of about 1,100 IT managers in large businesses finds that about 83 percent of these companies plan to turn down Windows 7 during 2010, leaving just 17 percent to update sometime in the first year. About 25 percent of the total group plan an upgrade in the second year, or around 2011.
If reflective of the wider market, the results wouldn't give Windows 7 more than half of the upgrade marketplace until 2012, when another 24 percent say they will update, and a remaining 17 percent plan for at least 3 years before they replace any existing systems.
The disjunction is partly attributed to the economy, which currently discourages large technology purchases, but is mostly tied to likely continued incompatibility with work software. Windows 7 is fundamentally similar to Vista underneath and so shares many of the same problems running specialized software meant for Windows XP or earlier; many companies will still need to either wait for patches or else obtain entire replacement software before they can make the upgrade.
Taking action on these promises would create significant danger for Microsoft. The Redmond, Washington developer posted a rare Windows divsion loss at the end of 2008 due largely to continued demand that the 7.5-years-old Windows XP stay on the market not only for slower netbooks, but for workplaces that actively take advantage of the XP downgrade program that pre-installs the older OS on new PCs while keeping a license for Vista available.
Partly anticipating concerns over upgrading, Microsoft has reiterated that it plans to allow Windows 7 to XP downgrades until June 2010, keeping with a policy that allows stepping back more than one OS version in certain conditions.