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Vista Ramp Up Is Happening Now, Study Says

Businesses may have been slow to adopt Microsoft Windows Vista, but expect that to change by late 2008 to 2009, according to a recent Forrester Research report.

Businesses may have been slow to adopt Microsoft Windows Vista, but expect that to change by late 2008 to 2009, according to a Forrester Research report led by Benjamin Gray, published last week.

The new report, "Corporate Desktop Operating System Trends, Q4 2007 Through Q2 2008," takes a slightly more favorable view of Microsoft's flagship operating system than a previous Forrester report on the subject by Thomas Mendel. Forrester's earlier report said that Vista had been "rejected" by the enterprise crowd.

The new desktop report suggested that foot dragging on Vista by businesses had come about from factors such as the economy, "Vista's perception problems" and past incompatibilities. Those issues will diminish with time, making 2009 "a big year for change," the report predicts.

The study found an indication that businesses are already shifting to Vista. For example, conversions from Windows XP to Windows Vista are on the rise, from five percent in 4Q 2007 to 8.8 percent in 2Q 2008. The study called that finding "a new trend." Previously, Vista upgrades were associated mostly with "Windows 2000 shops."

IT administrators should move to Vista for security reasons. They also need to stay current with software lifecycles and aim for compatibility targeting Windows 7, Microsoft's next-generation operating system, the report concludes.

Some IT administrators may be talking about waiting to upgrade until Windows 7 makes its appearance, estimated at around 2010 or so. However, the report's authors recommend against doing that.

"IT managers must stay the course and migrate to Windows Vista sooner rather than later," the report states.

That conclusion echoes a previous Forrester report by Gray et al. called "Building the Business Case for Windows Vista."

The desktop report had a few good words to say about enterprise use of Apple's Macintosh OS. It found Mac OS use rising from a 3.6 percent in Oct. 2007 to 4.5 percent in June 2008. The study's authors concluded that Apple gained success in the enterprise "without even trying to break into the market."

That said, Microsoft Windows still held 94.9 percent of the market, and Linux tanked at just 0.5 percent, according to the report.

Forrester's desktop report was based on "more than 50,000 clients" connecting to Forrester's Web site. To get the complete report, go here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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