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The majority of IT professionals worry that migrating to Windows Vista will make their networks less stable and more complex, according to a new survey.

The majority of IT professionals worry that migrating to Windows Vista will make their networks less stable and more complex, according to a new survey.

Ninety percent of 961 IT professionals surveyed said they have concerns about migrating to Vista and more than half said they have no plans to deploy Vista.

"The concerns about Vista specified by participants were overwhelmingly related to stability. Stability in general was frequently cited, as well as compatibility with the business software that would need to run on Vista," said Diane Hagglund of King Research, which conducted the survey for systems management vendor Kace. "Cost was also cited as a concern by some respondents."

The survey, echoing one from Forrester last week, shows most IT professionals are worried about Vista and that 44% have considered non-Windows operating systems, such as Linux and Macintosh, to avoid the Microsoft migration.

"Clearly many companies are serious about this alternative, with 9% of those saying they have considered non-Windows operating systems already in the process of switching and a further 25% expecting to switch within the next year," the report "Windows Vista Adoption and Alternatives" reads.

Macintosh leads the pack of Vista alternatives, with support from 28% of respondents. About a quarter said they would opt for Red Hat Linux, with SUSE Linux and Ubuntu each garnering 18% of the vote. Another 9% cited other Linux operating systems and 4% were unsure.

IT professionals also said that virtualisation is one of the technologies making a move away from Microsoft possible. About two-thirds reported that the use of virtualisation has made it easier to implement an alternative.

Yet heterogeneous systems management could be a barrier to going with a provider other than Microsoft, the survey found. Respondents reported that challenges include the need to manage multiple operating systems (49%) and the need to learn a different set of management tools (50%). Sixty percent manage their Windows systems with tools that don't support non-Windows environments.

"Almost half of all participants (45%) cited challenges with system management in non-Windows operating systems as preventing them from adopting" alternatives, the report states.

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