Despite Microsoft's ambitions, only a small portion of the existing computer base is likely to jump ship for Windows 7, a new Retrevo study found today. About 12 percent of existing Windows users plan to upgrade their existing PCs to the new operating system, and 47 percent plan a "wait and see" approach before making their decisions. Mac users are also largely unswayed by the release with only three percent indicating they might change platforms.
Prospects purportedly improve when Windows 7 is attached to a new PC or its price is otherwise hidden. About 37 percent of those who were already planning to buy a computer this year have said they're waiting until Windows 7 is available. About 67 percent of Mac users would install Windows 7 if it were offered for free, though in tandem with the conversion statistics it's unlikely that any would consider using the OS as more than a secondary or experimental platform.
While not poor, the hesitation of the majority to buy hints at a cautious approach to the release following the compatibility and performance problems that affected Vista for roughly its first year on the market. A negative public perception of the release led PC builders like Dell to continue selling Windows XP even after Microsoft had formally removed it as a regular option and is known to have led a small portion of users to either keep using Windows XP or else to switch to a Mac.