Forrester: Vista is 'New Coke' in the enterprise; Firefox, Apple gain a little

Vista adoption in the enterprise is mired in the single digits, but is an option for companies that have Windows releases before XP. Nineteen percent of enterprise users use Firefox.

Vista adoption in the enterprise is mired in the single digits, but is an option for companies that have Windows releases before XP. Nineteen percent of enterprise users use Firefox. And the Mac OS is making some headway in the enterprise, but Apple lacks a coherent strategy to pitch business customers.

Those are the big takeaways from a Forrester report released Thursday.

Forrester's enterprise trend survey polled 50,000 enterprise users at more than 2,300 large companies through the first half of the year. The upshot: There are a lot of crosscurrents going on and vendors need to play to multiple audiences to target the business users.

Some findings and thoughts from the survey:

Forrester calls Vista the "new Coke." Not to beat a dead horse here (or here), but Vista has perception problems. Maybe Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and a little marketing can change things, but it appears that companies are willing to wait for Windows 7. Unless you're on some Windows OS before XP. Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel writes:

Eighteen months after the release of Windows Vista, enterprise adoption is still in the single digits, and the majority of that seems to have come from upgrades of legacy Windows versions, not XP.  Here’s a tip: Consider following the lead of Microsoft’s most important partner Intel and re-evaluating the case for Vista. Windows 7 is penciled for release in Q1 2010.

This chart tells the tale:

vistachart.jpg

It's clear that XP is entrenched and not going anywhere, but Vista is making a slight uptick. If Forrester's hunch is to be believed Vista is gaining on Windows 2000 not XP.

Other odds and ends:

  • Intel-based Macs are showing up at more enterprises, but Apple just isn't set up to sell to IT departments. As Mendel notes, enterprises look for standardization, compatibility with back-end systems (Oracle, SAP etc.) and easy administration and servicing. Given Vista's problems it would be an opportune time for Apple to get serious about the enterprise--if the company wants to go there.
  • Firefox is the browser of choice for 19.4 percent of enterprise users surveyed up from 16.8 percent in January. It's also notable that IE 6.0 is top dog with 63.5 percent share. IE 7.0 is 36.5 percent. Overall, the message is clear. Browsers are diverse within the enterprise and you can't develop for just one.
  • Flash players are all over enterprises with 97 percent share.

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