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Windows XP slow to gain foothold

By Carol Sliwa
September 16, 2002 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Consumers may be buying into Windows XP on new PCs, but many corporate users are still putting off plans to migrate to Microsoft Corp.'s nearly one-year-old desktop operating system.
Even last week's release of the first service pack of bug fixes for XP (see story) - typically a signal for broader corporate adoption of Windows operating systems - was shrugged off by several IT managers.
A Computerworld poll of 25 Windows users in a wide range of industries found only four companies that are currently rolling out XP across their operations and four more that plan to start migrations in the coming months. Some users who are holding back on XP cited cost, the lack of a pressing business need and recent Windows 2000 rollouts as factors in their decisions.
"We have not moved to XP, and we have no plans to. As far as I am concerned, this is an upgrade that offers nothing to a business customer," said Pat Enright, CIO at Clark Retail Enterprises Inc., a convenience store chain in Oak Brook, Ill.
In particular, users that either have completed Windows 2000 projects or are now rolling it out said they see no reason to jump to Windows XP, which they view as an incremental release over Win 2k.
"The cost is very high to [upgrade], and there's not a lot of perceived value," said Rick Waugh, a technology architect at Telus Corp. in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Jim Cullinan, a lead product manager for Windows, said Microsoft is focusing on communicating the benefits of Windows XP to companies still running Windows NT, Windows 98 and Windows 95. Those benefits include improved stability and enhanced wireless and security management features, he said.
"Most enterprise customers still have held to the tradition of waiting until Service Pack 1 to even look at it," Cullinan said. "IT spending has dried up, and it looks a little bit tighter. But IT spending should be on the rise in the coming months. We feel really good about where Windows XP is."
An April poll of 225 CIOs by Morgan Stanley showed that 60% of respondents had no plans to roll out Windows XP. That view has changed little since then, according to many of the IT pros interviewed by Computerworld last week.
Some Are Ready
But Bill Lewkowski, CIO at Metropolitan Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., saw a clear need for XP. Lewkowski said the vendors that make the applications his company runs will no longer be supporting Windows 95. "Since we held off on Windows 2000 for a while, we decided



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