Enterprises Not Scrambling for Microsoft Windows 7

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

An overwhelming majority of enterprise customers will delay upgrading to Microsoft Windows 7 for at least a year, after many skipped upgrading to Microsoft's Vista operating system. But small business customers may be a bright spot for Windows 7, resellers report.

Think Microsoft’s launch of Windows 7, planned for later this year, will be enough to get your customers to start their long-overdue PC refreshes?  Think again.

A new survey of more than 1,100 IT professionals shows that 83 percent of enterprise customers will be putting off adoption of Microsoft’s successor to its Vista operating system for yet another year.  

And while it’s certainly not uncommon for enterprises to delay the migration to a new operating system to avoid the inevitable buggy first release, the new data from Dimensional Research shows that almost half the participants cite economic factors as part of their decision to hold off on the upgrade.

That’s not good news for resellers and solution providers that have been in the trenches, waiting for customers to get started with long-delayed refresh cycles.

Still, resellers and solution providers that serve the small business set may find their customers more willing to spend when it comes to upgrading to Windows 7. Some are optimistic.

"Windows 7 certainly has promise," says M.J. Shoer, president and virtual CTO at Jenaly Technology Group, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based solution provider. "Our testing shows it to be a very fast, efficient and stable operating system, so anyone who has held back on upgrades because of Vista may very well be enticed to take the plunge based on that.  

"I think it will fuel some activity in the market, but that being said, we haven’t really seen a significant hold back on upgrades in our space because of this," Shoer adds.  "I expect it will only help and, who knows, it may even fuel a faster recovery as it comes to market."

But among enterprise customers, Windows 7 is not likely to receive a quick welcome, according to the report. Forty-two percent of organizations say they will delay upgrades until 12 to 24 months after the release of Windows 7, and 24 percent say they will upgrade between 24 and 36 months.  A full 17 percent say they will wait more than 36 months.

Microsoft's Vista operating system has been widely regarded as a flop. While many smaller customers are using Vista, enterprises have been reluctant to make the move to Microsoft's most recent OS. 

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com