Developers target XP over Vista by wide margin

Just 8 per cent of North American developers are writing Vista apps; about half for XP, survey says

Stymied by a lack of user interest in Microsoft Vista, many North American developers are still not targeting the new operating system when writing new applications, according to a survey released today. The survey did find some growth in Vista development will come in 2009.

Only 8 per cent of 380 developers surveyed by Evans Data in April are writing applications for Vista, while 49 per cent are still writing applications for primarily for the predecessor Windows version, XP. In addition, 11 per cent said are applications mostly for Windows 2003, while 9 per cent are focused on Linux-based apps.

Because of some well-publicized problems with Vista, many developers have taken a "wait and see" approach before deciding to write applications that can take advantage of new features in Vista, said John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data.

"The general theme has been a slower uptake (of Vista) in the user market so most people at the corporate enterprise and commercial world are staying with XP," Andrews said.

"Open source alternatives like Linux continue to take on interest," he added. "As well, MacOS is also acquiring significant interest among North American developers. Although unlikely to displace Windows volume, MacOS experienced 50 per cent growth as a primary development platform and 380 per cent growth as a targeted platform during the period."

Microsoft did not reply to a request for comment.

The survey also found that 29 per cent of the developers surveyed will primarily target XP next year, with 24 per cent targeting Vista. Overall, 67 per cent of developers will primarily target a Windows version while 15 per cent write applications for Linux.

"[Developers] see a market shift from XP to Vista and that is why they are saying they are going to be moving from XP to Vista (in 2009)," he added.

The survey also found that:

  • More than half of North American developers are using agile development techniques;

  • About two-thirds plan to use agile development processes next year;

  • Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe continues to be the most used application lifecycle management software; and

  • Two-thirds of North American developers address security issues during the initial planning and design stages of a project.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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