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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.