Nearly half of businesses are in some phase of preparing to update desktops to Windows Vista, with small businesses moving the fastest to implement the OS, according to a xreport released last week. The number of organizations evaluating and testing Vista increased from 29 percent in February 2007 to 48 percent by early November 2007, found the report, commissioned by reseller CDW and based on information collected by Walker Information from 772 IT decision makers. Moreover, about 35 percent of companies are currently implementing or have implemented Vista already, compared to 12 percent last February, the report said. The report is the third of a wave of reports on Vista adoption that CDW has done since the OS was in its final testing phases in October 2006. In the latest phase of release, which tracked Vista adoption from October 31 until Nov. 7, 2007, small businesses comprised 53 percent of those companies either using or evaluating Vista. The higher-education segment came in second, with 49 percent reporting that they are evaluating or using the OS, while medium-to-large businesses were third, with 48 percent.
Because of lingering hardware and application compatibility issues between existing company IT assets and Vista, CDW still advises customers to move to Vista on a case-by-case basis, said David Cottingham, director of product and partner management at CDW. In the case of small businesses, they may not have the application or hardware dependencies on Windows XP that larger businesses have. "There are still definitely concerns when you get into custom applications in industries that will run on XP," he said. "If [companies] have custom applications that don't run on Vista yet, they're going to stay on XP." CDW is still selling both XP and Vista, but Cottingham said the company does not have data on which version of the OS is selling more now that Vista has been available to businesses for more than a year. In September, Microsoft had to extend the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) license for XP for five more months through June 30, 2008, because of customer demand for the OS. Microsoft had planned to stop selling XP through OEMs and retailers on Jan. 31.
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