Sure, Windows 7 has been a great success for Microsoft. Many would say that it’s hard not to do well after the epic failure that was Vista. In fact, Windows 7 has done very well in the consumer market, quickly overtaking Vista in market share and banishing it to the land of failed operating systems. However, according to Paul Thurrott at WinSuperSite.com, the real question is not how the “stunning 94% consumer satisfaction rate” will impact OEM sales, but how well the enterprise is adopting Windows 7 as the new de facto Windows business OS. The main reason Vista was such a commercial failure for Microsoft was not because people weren’t buying it; it was still packaged with every Windows PC on the market during its existence. It failed because big enterprises wouldn’t commit to it. When major companies shy away from Vista deployments due to an amalgam of compatibility and stability issues, many other big businesses follow suit. You get a ripple effect that effectively knocks the wind out of an operating system of which 65% of its revenue comes from those businesses.
According to Microsoft general manager Gavriella Schuster, Windows 7 is already in the process of being deployed in 65% of enterprises. Some of the big hitters in the already-deployed list are Dell and Intel, and many more big partners at the Worldwide partner Conference this year have been expressing general satisfaction with their enterprise rollouts of Windows 7, contrasting with the WPC after the Vista release, at which very few companies had fully committed to a Vista deployment.
Will Windows 7 have the same problem as XP, swallowing up the next iteration of Windows due to business hesitation to leave behind a stable system? According to Schuster, Windows 7 was developed with such deployments in mind. As the Windows platform heads steadily further into the ever-growing world of virtualization and optimization, where data and applications become less dependent on local hardware, large deployments and upgrades become a far less daunting and disruptive proposition.