Business market cresting on Vista adoption curve

Almost half of 772 surveyed organisations are evaluating or testing Vista

A new study on Vista adoption shows that the year-old Microsoft operating system may be finding a groove with business users even though more than 50% said they are not testing or evaluating the software.

In a survey conducted by Walker Information on behalf of IT product supplier CDW, 48% of the 772 responding organizations said they were either evaluating or testing Windows Vista. That number is up 65% from the same survey done in February 2007, when 29% percent of respondents said they were either evaluating or testing the operating system. In the October 2006 edition of the same study, only 12% said they were that far along with Vista.

CDW conducted the three-phase survey to track the adoption of Vista by corporate users.

The latest phase of the survey also found that 30% of organizations are currently implementing or have implemented Vista.

Microsoft is getting ready to release the first service pack for Vista, which is traditionally a gateway to increased corporate interest in a new Windows operating system.

In the CDW survey, 51% of respondents said the expectation of bugs in the first release was a top concern in considering Vista.

As users are adopting the software, they are also reporting favorable reviews. Nearly 50% say performance of key features has been above their expectations.

In addition, 24% say they have implemented Office 2007, which is up from 6% in the February survey.

In the Vista survey, 55% of those evaluating or testing the software expected to complete their migrations over the next 12 to 18 months. Only 13% said they had already completed the migration, but that was up from 6% in the February survey. In addition, 35% of those evaluating or testing are in some stage of migration, while 88% are starting or have begun testing and evaluation.

The survey also showed 58% of respondents gave Vista a very favorable or somewhat favorable review. But that number was down from 60% in the February survey and 70% in the October survey. On the flip side, a review of somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable was up to 22% as compared with 18% in February and 9% in October.

CDW, however, concluded that perception of the product is stabilizing in the market with 20% reporting neither a favorable nor unfavorable review, down from 21% in both the February and October reviews.

Improved security was still the biggest perceived benefit, even though it was down to 65% from a high of 78% in February. Other cited benefits included improved performance, productivity, search/organization, Windows Update, networking features and patch management.

More than half (56%) said they were not buying other hardware and software as part of the Vista upgrade.

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