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Questions over speed of adoption raised on Windows 7 birthday

Simon Quicke
Windows 7 might have racked up impressive sales figures in its first year of release and wiped away the memories of the disappointment of Vista but it still has a long way to go to become the de facto operating system in the corporate space.

Research from Forrester has indicated that 75% of commercial desktops in Europe and North America are still using XP and the speed of adoption has been slow.

The analyst house said compatibility and security issues had been ironed out and more firms would have to upgrade as the pressures of supporting an aging infrastructure took their toll and support for XP came to an end.

"More than one year after its general availability launch, Windows 7 powers one out of every ten PC within North American and European companies. While far from overwhelming - especially considering Windows XP still powers 75% - IT managers worldwide are preparing for a significant desktop transformation over the next three years," stated Forrester.

Rich Reynolds, general manager Windows commercial at Microsoft, said that the adoption had been twice as fast as XP and enterprises were moving over to the OS.

"It is happening very rapidly for a number of different reasons," he said. These included demand from users as well as third party suppliers and the prospect that XP support was winding down.

"In some cases it has been ten years since the customer did a desktop OS upgrade and there are tools we can offer them that were not available in the past," he added.

He said Gartner was continuing to forecast growth in PC sales, up 18% this year and 19% in 2011 which would filter through to increasing the adoption of Windows 7.

John Bland, sales director at SCC, said that the demand for users from their employers for an OS that was not ten years old was helping generate sales and it had already seen a healthy year for the software and expected that to continue.

"The momentum is going to increase. There is a mass of XP users and and they need a big reaction to get them looking at Windows 7 and some of that is going to be the consumerisation of IT," he said referring to home users demanding their firms get the latest technology.


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