How fast are enterprises going Windows 7? Not fast enough for Unisys

Summary:Unisys, one of Microsoft's key integration partners, seemingly isn't happy about Windows 7's adoption rate in the enterprise.

Unisys, one of Microsoft's key integration partners, seemingly isn't happy about Windows 7's adoption rate in the enterprise.

Unisys conducted an online poll in March to gauge business adoption of Windows 7. The number of respondents was small: 133. But that didn't stop Unisys from issuing a press release on April 27 with the headline "Enterprises Should Take Quicker Action on Windows 7 Migrations, Unisys Poll Suggests."

"(O)nly 21 percent of respondents answered 'Migration underway,'" the release noted, "while a combined 53 percent answered 'Haven’t started,' or 'Not migrating.' Twenty-five percent said that, at the time, they were 'Piloting Windows 7.'"

So why did a Microsoft partner -- one that has been a big Windows 7 backer -- issue a release like this? At face value, Unisys’ goal with the release and post was to highlight the consequences of not migrating and to push businesses to transition, given that support for Windows XP is slated to end in 2014.

But was there more? Unhappiness with their Windows 7 consulting take-home percentage? A way to try to drum up more business? Based on the accompanying blog post about the need to bust Windows 7 adoption myths, I think it's more of an attempted sales technique (possibly gone wrong).

I asked Microsoft for comment on Unisys' findings and was told the company wouldn't comment on the results.

A spokesperson did point me to other data from various market researchers that showed Windows 7 enterprise adoption wasn't lagging, including a Gartner press release from April 27, which pegged Microsoft's total operating system market share (for client and server) at 78.6 percent in 2010, up from 77.9 percent in 2009. The Gartner release didn't mention Windows 7 business adoption specifically, but did say that Windows 7 is gaining market acceptance.

From the Gartner report:

"A new wave of PC refreshment after the economic recession was the major reason for the better-performing Windows (client) business. Windows 7 also gained market acceptance as the successor to Windows Vista and XP. The projected EOL (end of life, meaning of support) of XP in early 2014 drove enterprises to accelerate migration to Windows 7 in the second half of 2010."

In October 2010, Forrester released its own survey of business users' plans to migrate to Windows 7. Forrester found that 90 percent of business contacted expect to migrate to Windows 7 eventually. Forrester researchers said at that time that 46% of 2,300 firms surveyed were reporting that "they have already begun or will begin deploying Windows 7 within the next 12 months.”

Microsoft officials said recently that the company has sold 350 million Windows 7 licenses in the 18 months it has been available, but did not break out the consumer vs. enterprise sales for the product.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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