Forrester Research has issued a new study in which it predicts that at least one-third of enterprises will begin to deploy Windows Vista enterprise-wide by mid-2008.
Driving Vista adoption will be an increase in applications certified as Vista-compatible and new PC form factors which are "ready to run Vista smoothly" and at "price points will make compatible machines more affordable than they are today," the Forrester researchers said in their "How Windows Vista Will Shake Up The State Of The Enterprise Operating System" report, released on November 12.
Forrester acknowledged that a number of businesses are waiting for Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 before starting their Vista deployment rollouts. But according to current schedule, Vista SP1 is set to roll out in the first calendar quarter of next year.
"The era of Windows Vista within enterprises has officially started, with a whimper," the Forrester researchers said. "But think of it as the snowflakes before the storm. Adoption of the newest Windows OS has been cautious at best in the first six to eight months since its initial release, hovering at just 2%, but dipping as low as 0% to 3% across different regions and company sizes."
Forrester's latest research -- based on a survey of 1,001 "hardware decision makers at North American and European enterprises -- concluded that by mid-2008, Windows Vista will be deployed across at least one-quarter of PCs. (Forrester's survey base consisted of 43% of respondents from large enterprises; 35% from "very large" enterprises an 22 percent from Global 2000 enterprises.)
Meanwhile, Microsoft is doing what it can to spur further business deployment of Vista.
When Microsoft rolled out Windows Vista a year ago, company officials were optimistic (but not overly so) about businesses' plans for deploying Vista. One of the main reasons the Redmondians were upbeat about Vista deployment in the enterprise was because of the number of deployment tools it had waiting in the wings.
This week, Microsoft began rolling out final and/or refreshed versions of a number of these corporate Vista deployment tools. Among them:
- Microsoft Deployment. Microsoft Deployment replaces the company's set of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools. Unlike BDD, the Deployment tool supports Windows Server deployments, not just client ones. Microsoft Consulting Services blogger Richard Smith says the current Microsoft Deployment release is just the first of three planned Microsoft Deployment rollouts between now and summer 2008. This release integrates with deployment features in Configuration Manager 2007. The next releases will add more support for WIndows Server 2008, Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 deployments.
- Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0. In its final version, out now, ACT 5.0 adds support for .Net Framework 2.0 and helps users test and fix their line-of-business applications for Vista-compatibility. Microsoft rolled out a release-candidate test version of ACT 5.0 earlier this year.
- Windows Vista Harware Assessment tool (Known both as WVHA and HAT) 2.1: A "Solution Accelerator" that allows customers and partners to decide which PCs they should upgrade to Vista and Office 2007. Beta registratino is open for the next release of this tool, which will be rnamed the "Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator," or MAP. The new releae will including "assessment and planning scenarios for server migration, server consolidation and virtualization with Windows Server 2008," the Softies say.
- Microsoft User State Migration Tools 3.0: A remote migration tool that preserves one or multiple users' files and settings.
Each of these deployment tools has been downloaded about 300,000 times since they became available to customers in early 2007, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft also launched this week a new Springboard Series Web site with accompanying documentation and forums for businesses planning and migrating to Vista, with lots of how-to videos and FAQs.
What do you think of Forrester's prediction that one-third of businesses will begin deploying Vista by mid-2008? Too ambitious? Too conservative? On the money?