Enterprises pass on IE7, Windows Vista, Forrester says

Microsoft hasn't pried IE6, Windows XP from business users' hands

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By December 2007, only 6.3% of enterprise users working in Windows reported that they were on Vista, according to Forrester. Although that was an increase from only 0.7% in January 2007, Windows XP's share didn't move during the year: It started 2007 at 89.5% of all Windows users and ended at 89.8%.

It appears that Vista made headway only at the expense of the even older Windows 2000, Iqbal said. "Vista's increase mirrored the decrease in Windows 2000," he said. "The statistics speak for themselves: They're holding on to XP."

According to Forrester's surveys, Windows 2000's share of all enterprise Windows users dropped from 9.1% in January 2007 to 3% in December, a slip just slightly less than the gain made during 2007 by Vista.

Here, too, Iqbal said, the prospect of something new on the horizon means companies may simply skip a version. "It is a bit early to say for certain, but it does look like enterprises may hold out for Windows 7," he said, referring to the next edition of Microsoft's operating system.

Microsoft has not nailed down a timetable for Windows 7 but has said that it's shooting for a three-year development cycle, which some, including Forrester, have taken to mean a release in late 2009 or early 2010, three years after the debut of Vista. "One quarter of enterprises have scheduled 2008 deployments, but given the slow start, little gain in productivity, and the timetabled release of Windows 7 in H2 2009, businesses may decide to pull back rollouts or skip the version altogether," pushing Vista the way of Windows Millennium," the Forrester report said.

Coincidentally, Microsoft touted the $1 billion contract that Electronic Data Systems Corp. announced today with Royal Dutch Shell to manage the energy company's end-user computing services, saying that Windows Vista upgrades will be part of the package. "EDS will help Shell deploy Windows Vista to existing, remote and new locations," a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an e-mail. "The deal in total covers 150,000 users in over 100 countries."

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment about the Forrester report.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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