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.
That is quite interesting, but not terribly surprising.
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
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?
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.
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.