Report: Businesses Warming To Windows 7

In a survey of 923 IT professionals conducted in January, Dimensional Research found that 58 percent are planning to deploy Windows 7 by the end of the year, and 47 percent aren't planning to wait until Windows 7 Service Pack 1 comes out before making the move.

What's more, 87 percent of respondents surveyed at the three-month mark after Windows 7's release said they planned to deploy the OS, compared to just 47 percent for Vista at the same point after its release.

Microsoft can claim that these figures portend a coming wave of Windows 7 deployments, but application compatibility is still a major worry for many companies, and one that could slow their Windows 7 migrations. According to the survey, 86 percent of IT professionals are concerned about application compatibility in Windows 7. In a similar survey conducted last April, that figure was 88 percent.

Also telling is that 60 percent of respondents said they're more worried about the costs involved with moving to Windows 7 than they are about the costs of maintaining the aging XP. In last year's survey, that figure was 72 percent. This number is dropping, but not as fast as Microsoft would like.

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Are IT professionals' fears justified in this case, or are they the result of a herd mentality? In any event, Microsoft has to be pretty frustrated at this point because it has spent a lot of time and money on building the bridge from XP to Windows 7. This includes Windows XP Mode as well as Microsoft's efforts to get software and hardware partners involved with Windows 7 at an early stage to hammer out glitches.

At this point, it's obvious that XP's chief fault is that it still working well enough to satisfy the needs of many companies. Microsoft may have thought its XP problem would go away when Windows 7 arrived, but it looks like XP is going to stick around for a while.