Almost 30% of firms already on Windows Vista trail

More business users are starting to evaluate and deploy Windows Vista, but they are showing increasing concern over perceived performance, patching and the operating system's hardware requirements, according to a recent study.


More firms are starting to evaluate and deploy Windows Vista, deterred only by slight concerns about performance and patching, according to a survey.

Nearly 30% of companies are using or evaluating Vista, according to the study, conducted by Walker Information for IT services and product supplier CDW.

The poll shows that 87% of the 753 IT decision makers in government, education and medium-sized businesses who responded to the study, plan to eventually adopt Vista. This is an 8% increase over an identical poll conducted last November, immediately following the launch to corporate users.

Since the first survey, 1% of users had completed Vista implementations, and another 19% planned to complete their implementations in the next 12 months.

The survey also found that 6% of organisations are implementing Vista beyond a 12-month timeframe, while 13% plan to start their implementations in the next year. Another 13% said they have no plans to upgrade.

"I don't think we were surprised by any of the data," said JoEllen Amato-Tuck, Microsoft brand manager for CDW. "It seems to be in line with what the first survey showed."

The company plans a third survey sometime between September and December. CDW says the poll will show over time how evaluation variables and deployment strategies are progressing.

The second version of the survey revealed that user concerns over hardware requirements being too excessive rose 9% over the first survey, from 28% to 37%. It was the fourth most common concern. The first was the expectation of bugs in the first Vista release.

A full 18% of users said they would need to upgrade 91% to 100% of their Windows-based hardware for it to be Vista compatible, a 2% increase over the first survey.

Also, concerns that the benefits of adopting Vista are not clear enough rose 6% from 32% to 38%.

On the whole, CDW concluded that benefits continue to outweigh user concerns over Vista. Customers are less worried about Vista and finding the money to pay for the migration.

The top benefit in both polls was improved security with 78% of respondents citing that feature. But the second poll showed that fewer respondents think Vista's performance and patching represent improvements in the software.

Positive perception of performance as a key benefit was down 7% from 63% to 56%. Patching fell from 31% to 25% and Windows Update from 36% to 30%.

Those were the only downward changes that were statistically significant, according to CDW.

In terms of user attitudes, 26% of respondents reported strong-positive and positive feedback compared to just 13% reporting some-negative or negative feedback. Of those reporting feedback, 82% said it was neutral or positive.

The poll is available or free but requires a user's email address to download.

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