More than two years after the Windows Vista launch, XP is still the dominant business PC operating system in North America and Europe.
Windows Vista "finally appears ready to dethrone XP" as the operating-system choice for enterprise PCs, trumpeted a new Forrester Research report released on January 30. But the report, based on a survey of 962 IT decision makers, didn't do much to bolster Vista's image in the market. From the report by Forrester analyst Benjamin Gray:
"IT decision-makers don’t have an entirely rosy outlook for Windows Vista. We found that 15% plan on skipping Windows Vista entirely and going straight to Windows 7 soon after its release in 2010. And another 22% still have no definitive plans for deploying Windows Vista, and 6% simply don’t know yet what their plans are."
Forrester found that IT managers are finally starting their company-wide Vista deployments now. Currently, Vista is powering almost 10 percent of PCs in North American and European businesses, the Forrestr researchers said.
"When specifically asked about their Windows Vista deployment plans, almost one-third responded that they have already started their deployments, with another 26 percent citing plans to start this year or later," according to the study.
Comparatively, Mac OS X is powering three percent of business PCs; Windows 2000 (for which Microsoft mainstream support ended in 2005 and extended, paid support is slated to end by 2010, by the way), another 10 percent; and Linux, two percent, Forrester said. Windows XP is still powering 71 percent of enterprise PCs in North America and Europe, the researchers found.
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft positions Windows 7 for business customers as this year marches on. Microsoft already is starting to warn customers that they will have to do a clean install (and reinstall all their apps) if they are moving from XP straight to Windows 7. Whether the Softies will offer more financially attractive upgrade pricing to XP users who want to skip Vista -- or only provide Windows 7 upgrade licenses to those with Vista already -- is still not 100 percent certain.