Poll reveals user love for Windows 7

44% 'very satisfied' with beta, says research firm; just 10% of early Vista users said the same

Beta testers of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 7 are four times more likely to be happy with what they're seeing than were early users of Windows Vista, a factor that's driving more than half the companies surveyed to dump Vista adoption plans, a market research company said.

In a poll of corporate IT professionals conducted by ChangeWave Research, 44% of the 68 users testing Windows 7 said that they were "very satisfied" with the beta.

A similar survey by ChangeWave in February 2007 -- just weeks after Vista's launch -- found just 10% of the respondents expressing the same level of satisfaction.

The ChangeWave researchers who conducted the poll, Andy Golub and Mike Wrobel, said that those who are happy with Windows 7 cited the new operating system's improved performance as a big reason for their reaction. "Takes less memory and boots faster, and reminds me of a new XP," one IT professional told the researchers.

In the same survey, Golub and Wrobel polled approximately 2,000 enterprise users responsible for IT purchases to find out their companies' current Windows plans. According to the poll, 53% said that their businesses are going to skip Vista altogether, and instead wait out the arrival of Windows 7. Only 15% said that their organizations would proceed with a Vista roll-out.

About 1 in 7 -- 14% -- said that their companies were already deferring some PC and server purchases in anticipation of Windows 7.

"The Windows 7 beta has so far received a much warmer reception than Vista," noted Golub and Wrobel in their analysis last week. "Of course, beta testers tend to be hard-core techies and the ultimate test is how satisfaction holds up when mainstream users get their hands on the new software."

Microsoft has not yet set a ship date for Windows 7, saying only that it would deliver the operating system by early 2010. Three months ago, it issued the one, and only, public beta, and has said it will follow that with a more stable release candidate in the upcoming weeks.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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