Nothing here we haven't heard rumored before, but given just how concrete this data is compared to theoretical assertions of the past, we figured it prudent to pass along. A study that polled over 1,100 IT professionals recently found that a staggering majority of companies are likely to skip right over Windows 7 -- just like so many did
with Windows Vista
In fact, the results showed that an incredible 83% of enterprises plan to skip on over Windows 7
during its first year out, presumably to let those more courageous early adopters deal with the early bugs and security holes. The significance here is that if this proves true, a staggering amount of major companies will still be using Windows XP far, far after Microsoft expected. As it stands, Windows XP support is already looking to be shut off soon (save for on those netbooks that can't run anything more demanding), and now it remains to be seen if the suits in Redmond will keep on supporting or simply cut things off and force people to upgrade.
Looking further into the numbers, we also find that only 42% of these enterprises plan to shift to Win7 during its second year on the market, while 24% suggested that they'd probably wait until the third year. Of course, the current economy could be blamed for companies reeling back on software spending, but we honestly don't think that's the case. Ever since Vista hit the scene, companies have been increasingly wary about changing something that's not broken. If WinXP continues to drive their business efficiently, there's really no incentive to risk catastrophe by upgrading.
Early reports of Windows 7
have been far more positive than even late reviews of Vista, though, so we suppose hearts could change if the vibe from Microsoft gets even more positive in the run-up to the operating system's release. Analysts are wondering if a corporate hold-out on Windows 7 will further degrade Microsoft's market share, and frankly, we have our doubts. Companies ingrained in the Windows ecosystem aren't about to just switch to OS X or Linux willy-nilly. The worst case scenario in our view? Microsoft loses a few sales thanks to its own product, and the shift into Win7 is delayed a bit longer than Ballmer and Company would like. In other words, it's far from the end of Microsoft's world.