Interesting results on potential windows 7 uptake

Of course, this is all premature … windows 7 could turn out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread … though honestly, I doubt it.

Information week reports that 83% of corporate customers do not plan a windows 7 deployment in the first year of availability. Moreover, most are … happy … with XP, and will continue to use it, as they are concerned with application compatibility.

Economic concerns and worries about compatibility — the bugbear that doomed Vista in the corporate market — will keep Windows 7 on the shelf for all but a handful of enterprises until at least 12 months after the OS becomes available later this year or early next, depending on Microsoft’s release schedule.

“Early beta testers are providing many glowing reports about the functionality and performance of Windows 7, especially compared to Windows Vista,” market watchers at Dimensional Research note in a survey that will be released this week. “But is corporate IT excited about the new operating system, or do they dread yet another release?”

They pretty much dread it.

That is quite interesting, but not terribly surprising.

The survey, of more than 1,100 IT professionals, is one of the first extensive looks at Windows 7’s early sales prospects. It found that a whopping 83% of enterprises plan to skip the OS in its first year. While the business market typically tends toward caution when it comes to new products, the figure is nonetheless surprising given that almost no large companies migrated to Vista and as a result most have been using XP much longer than planned.

The devil you know may be better than the devil you don’t know.

But that’s not the only reason driving this, to wit

“The majority of participants do not plan to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year. Economic factors are contributing to the delay in Windows 7 adoption for almost half of all participants. Software compatibility is the most frequently cited concern with Windows 7,”

Economic factors? Yeah, you have lots of new costs to migrate, usually in terms of purchasing compatible software, training staff on how to deal with the OS, and dealing with building a secure/sustainable platform … which is notoriously hard (likely impossible) on Windows.

With this in mind, what are users planning, and more importantly, what are they doing?

Widespread failure by corporations to embrace Windows 7 could cause problems on a number of fronts. For Microsoft, it would surely mean a further slip in its already declining share of the PC market. Due in large part to Vista’s unpopularity — users griped about its resource requirements, intrusive security features, and lack of compatibility with older software — the company’s Windows sales fell 8% in the most recent quarter, even as rival Apple’s Mac OS gained share.

Yup, you did read that right.

Have you seen the windows commercials on TV where they diss the apple kit? I am not an apple person, but their kit is nice (albeit a bit more expensive than I like).

But that isn’t the only thing gaining ground.

The open source Linux OS also could benefit from slow uptake of Windows 7 in the enterprise market, as could Google (NSDQ: GOOG)’s Android OS — which some computer makers are reportedly testing as a netbook platform. Fifty percent of those surveyed by Dimensional Research said they’ve considered switching to a non-Windows OS to avoid Vista or Windows 7

Given that OpenOffice is actually pretty good (we run the business on it), and most of the other functionality is pretty good, the software purchase cost for a non-Windows platform is … pretty close to zero … for basic applications.

Yes, you can pay Canonical for support, as you can Novell. Redhat seems to be quite confused about the desktop market.

This said, as I and numerous others have reported, Linux actual installed base is vastly undercounted. I have reported multiple times that the audience on this blog, which gets quite a few page views per day is about 65% windows, 25% linux, and the remainder mixtures of MacOSX and smaller installed base systems. In fact, the ~8% market share of MacOSX pretty accurately reflects the overall MacOSX market share.

Since linux servers rarely have displays on them, and most users rarely, if ever, run firefox or mozilla over a remote X link … these page views from firefox are likely not server based.

Also, most browsers on Linux let you set the agent string … this makes the browser appear to be something else to the web server. This needs to be done in a number of cases, courtesy of broken websites which insist upon IE* browsers … so fool the websites, see the content you need to see.

So I argue that a number of the measurement tools might be misreading the actual installed base … based upon browser usage.

Certainly Linux is enjoying a huge boost in VM installations as appliances … zero marginal cost to deploy, as compared to the alternatives.

And in this market, with these economic conditions, this is quite important. Far more important than the next version of windows.

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