84% of IT pros don't plan to upgrade to Windows 7 this year

84% of IT pros don't plan to upgrade to Windows 7 this year

Summary: A new survey has revealed that 84 percent of IT professionals do not have plans to upgrade existing Windows desktop and laptop systems to Windows 7 in the next year, despite early enthusiasm from beta testers of the new operating system.


A new survey has revealed that 84 percent of IT professionals do not have plans to upgrade existing Windows desktop and laptop systems to Windows 7 in the next year, despite early enthusiasm from beta testers of the new operating system.

According to a recent survey by systems management appliance company KACE, many respondents cited the shortcomings of Windows 7's predecessor, Vista, as the leading reason for slow adoption of Windows 7, with software compatibility, cost of implementation and the current economic environment also major concerns.

The vast majority, 83 percent, said they are likely to skip Vista altogether and eventually migrate directly to Windows 7, according to the survey.

The research, which polled more than 1,100 IT workers, showed that IT departments of all sizes have concerns about moving to Windows 7, and 50 percent are considering moving from Windows altogether to alternative operating systems, such as Mac OS and Linux. That's up almost 10 percent from a similar survey conducted last July.

The black eye that is Vista may be to blame.

"The research shows that despite the early enthusiasm for Windows 7, organizations are still wary about adoption, demonstrating what could be described as an even overly cautious approach," said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the survey’s author. "Negative public perception of Vista seems to have helped build this layer of distrust with Windows 7."

A quick take on the findings from the survey:

  • 84 percent of survey respondents have no plans to upgrade existing Windows desktops and laptops to Windows 7 next year;
  • 72 percent indicated they are more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying with an outdated XP operating system;
  • 50 percent revealed they have considered moving from Windows to an alternative operating system, and 27 percent of those cited Mac OS as the top alternative;
  • Almost 60 percent of survey respondents do not presently have a tool in place that automates operating system migration;
  • Economic factors, such as budget freezes and staff reductions, were cited as other reasons to not immediately adopt Windows 7.

Finally, KACE says 72 percent of survey respondents view a tool to help migrate operating systems as something that helps save time and effort (naturally, the company offers such an approach).

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Do you plan to hold off on Vista?

    Or do you plan on moving away from Windows altogether? Tell me here, in TalkBack.
  • In other news

    84% of IT pros refuse to plan <i>upgrades this
    year</i> to an yet <i>unreleased</i> operating

    According to the operating system vendor the
    new operating system will be released late 2009
    or <i>early 2010</i>.

    We are all very disappointed that less than
    100% of IT pros will install it immediately.
    • You have a point there

      But they are asking people based on the BETA of Windows 7 whether they will update to Windows 7.... that's a reasonable question.

      IT Professionals usually decide while a product is still in Beta or, at the latest, the RC stage whether they will update their systems with it.
      • I don't think so..... Beta is incomplete.

        And sometimes the difference between a Beta that seems to work and
        the finished product can be HUGE!

        Sure if the Beta tests out good it is a positive sign but it is not nearly
        good enough to make a decision until the real deal is released. Usually
        waiting till the first round of updates is out is also a good idea.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
  • Theyt are stupid if they are NOT upgrading to Windows 7

    The addition of security methods to keep malware/viruses/spyware from getting on the system ALONE is worth the cost of upgrading when Windows 7 comes out.

    Heck, that was actually true for Windows Vista (which wasn't as 'bad' as IT pro's made it out to be). Conflicker: would have been stopped by Vista. The new Conflicker clone: same thing.

    It's time to realize that most of these IT professionals are not updating to Vista because of the little 'secret' I know: it takes less to keep up a Vista/Windows 7 system compared to a XP system..... if they switch, some of them might be getting pink slips as the 'need' for them disappears.
    • We've been saying that exact thing about Macs for

      years now:P

      Still what good is more security if your production software does not
      work with the OS? At that point you have a very secure electronic

      First point Win 7 is not even out yet and has yet to be be tested. So no
      any IT pro with a plan to upgrade soon would be a fool. Even "IF" Win
      7 is everything it is said to be it would still be very foolish to simply
      jump in with both feet.

      Still thanks for the Mac plug and showing that it is a legitimate

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • In case you didn't notice, application compatibility is key.

      Which is also why Apple machines came up on top. They can run virtual machines with their old Win versions while the software world continues to create OS neutral versions of their products.
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
      • Cost, training, and support also come into the equation...

        And while Macs may be easy to use, the transition WILL require training nonetheless, not to mention training to deal with virtualization and/or bootcamp. There is no guarantee that developers will jump at the chance to create MacOS versions of their products, it is not something you can rely on.

        To top it off, Apple products still have a higher cost to acquire.

        Cost-wise, Linux is still a better option but you still have training in your future no matter what and the same situation with the software.

        The best option is still to hold off until Win7 has been tested and proved to be reliable and compatible with company apps.
    • That's just market share

      [b]Heck, that was actually true for Windows Vista (which wasn't as 'bad' as IT pro's made it out to be). Conflicker: would have been stopped by Vista. The new Conflicker clone: same thing.[/b]

      That is all about market share right?

      You know.

      Since Vista doesn't have a decent amount of it. And the masses are running XP. So conficker was programed for XP cus no one likes vista and opts to upgrade back to XP.

      Can you imaging what would have happened if Conficker was designed for Vista?

      It would still be chugging along trying to complete it's 3rd infection with a status bar hanging at 98%. I see your point, Vista would have stopped Conficker by out-hogging it. But that would have been awful for those poor 3 guys with the infected vista machines. They would still be waiting for solitair to load.

      Thank GOD XP still has the bulk of market share. Now I can sit at my Mac, breathe a sigh of relief, and go back to rendering and burning at 50 times the speed of a windows PC. Life is good when you're not trapped behind windows that don't open.
  • Moving to Linux.

    I've been testing Ubuntu in our environment for a while now and and thanks to the Mono project we're able to run our .NET assemblies on Linux servers without recompile.

    We initially plan on running a hybrid environment of Windows and Linux machines, as we've already identified users whom don't require any software dependent on Windows (most of our environment is web based). We're also working on a migration plan to move off MS SQL Server to MySQL, although this would take quite a while to do as a lot of the Stored Procedures and such will have to be rewritten. We have to remove Active Directory dependencies from our software as well.

    It's not going to be an easy task and would probably take a few years before we can shut down our Windows machines for that last time. However, considering all of the licensing fees, and the fact that we have in-house developers the TCO of a Linux environment will ultimately prove cheaper.

    I'd obviously recommend that new deployments stay away from Windows as their disdain for standards compliance can lock you in and you'll end up in a similar situation to ours. Going for Apple products isn't even a reasonable choice when you factor in the cost of hardware and once again you'll be stuck with a proprietary environment.
    General C#
    • Second that...

      My company is looking at shifting to a Linux
      based solution as well. The primary driver is Microsoft's inability to support its own
      standards across new operating system
      iterations. If we have to port and rewrite the
      majority of our code to be Vista and 7 ready
      why not suffer a bit more pain and migrate to a
      platform we can control?

      Oh, and before all the fan boys chime in about
      how it is too much to expect code to be
      compatible across major OS revisions or that
      the code must somehow be defective or poorly
      written I have one little acronym for you: C-L-
      R. It's a great concept, especially what was
      promised as usual it is no more compatible than
      what has come before.
  • They haven't had hands on if they believe that.

    Vista, blah, blah, blah....

    Look, I agree Vista had issues when released (although it seems very stable after the SPs.) but I don't see them with WIndows 7.

    I have yet to find anyone that has spent a few hours using Windows 7 that doesn't like it. My belief is once IT has their hands on it and can test it, they will make the move much quicker than the poll would indicate.
    • You failed to see any problems with V*sta either.

      Only later, when the fiasco was evident to everyone did you timidly start to recognize some of the ample evidence.
      InAction Man
      • Oh Please

        Vista is fine, there's nothing wrong with it--RTM had a few rough spots that that's all they were--rough spots. Which are gone now.

        Give me Vista over XP any day of the week. The main office is about 1/2 Vista machines at this point and I'm having 0 trouble with them.

        Windows 7 is just Vista with some optimizations and UI tweaks. I won't *upgrade* existing machines, I will *replace* them as they reach EOL. With Vista or with 7 depending on when the machine needs replacement.
        • I will *replace* them as they reach EOL.

          What or who (Microsoft?) determines the EOL?
      • That's The Saga Of No_Ax

        1. Make a ridiculous prediction (IPhone is going to fail, Vista is going to rule the OS world, Zune is going to destroy IPod)
        2. Ridicule those who oppose the prediction
        3. When the prediction fails to come true, retreat and hide from anyone who calls him out on it
        4. Resurface months later trying to act like the prediction was never made in the first place.

        He's very predictable and that's the only predictable thing about him.
        • He only comes out of hidding...

          Because he can't help himself. He's addicted to making an ass of himself. And he has plenty of help from Microsoft.
      • Not true

        If you actually go back and look, you'll see No_ax was extremely vocal about his displeasure with Vista, though most of those issues were not the issues most complained about.
        Michael Kelly
    • Application compatibility

      Application compatibility is still a valid concern. If old, poorly designed corporate programs didn't run on Vista then chances are they won't run on Windows 7, either. For instance, the company I work for [i]still[/i] has web applications that won't run in anything past IE 6. Eventually these systems are retired but the economy of the last few years has led to outsourcing and offshoring IT support, and the idea of upgrading systems so we can use a new operating system isn't even on the radar. The talent we once had to do anything like that is long gone now.

      I like Windows 7 and I've been using it exclusively on my laptop, but it strikes me more as "Vista Second Edition" than another iteration of the operating system. The name is for marketing purposes since Vista was so (unfairly) trashed, and I think most knowledgeable IT staff knows that.
    • Liking it is one thing.

      Depending on it is another.