The launch of Windows 7 is only days away and Microsoft has big hopes for the new OS. Many computer makers are also hoping that the new OS will spur consumers and businesses to buy new machines. Despite the hopes of computer makers and Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is playing down the roll of Windows 7 in improving PC sales.
In the corporate world, the vast majority of firms never upgraded to Vista. One of the reasons few corporations upgraded to Vista was that at the time it launched only 50% of the computers in use were able to run the OS and meet Vista's minimum requirements.
Microsoft will be glad to hear that 65% of current PCs in the corporate world are able to run Windows 7 in its optimal configuration. A mere 6% of computers could run Vista in it optimal configuration when it launched. Those percentages were compiled by IT asset management company Softchoice. The firm goes on to say that 88% of corporate computers can run Windows 7 at minimum specifications.
Softchoice Services Development Manager Dean Williams wrote in a research note, "Since so few organizations made the switch to Vista, over 90 percent of PCs have remained on Windows XP—an operating system about to celebrate its 10th birthday—while close to 5 percent are running operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports. Given the added risks and costs of maintaining aging infrastructure, organizations would be well advised to begin planning their move to more current technology. The fact that so many organizations are already entitled to do so through Microsoft's Software Assurance should remove cost as a potential barrier."
Softchoice found in a survey of 450,000 corporate PCs more than nine out of ten have Windows XP installed. Nearly one in ten have a combination of Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4 -- Vista was only found on 3% of computers.
"We've seen a sea change compared to the landscape in which Vista was introduced," Williams said. "Organizations have some work to do to shore up a small percentage of their fleet, but the natural PC refresh cycle has more or less eliminated system requirements as a potential stumbling block to deploying Windows 7. The migration question is now about understanding the benefits of switching as well as implementing a plan to minimize any potential deployment headaches."