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Survey: 84% won't upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year

April 14, 2009: 8:57 AM ET

Windows 7 wait chartMost enterprises will eventually migrate to Windows 7 -- Microsoft's (MSFT) newest version of the world's dominant PC operating system -- but they're not in any hurry to do so.

And half are thinking about switching to a non-Windows system, such as Apple's (AAPL) Mac OS X.

These are among the findings of a survey commissioned by KACE, a Mountain View, Calif., systems management company that hopes to cash in on what it is portraying as a bumpy transition.

The survey of 1,142 IT professionals conducted in March by Dimension Research found that the vast majority (84%) are going to wait at least a year to upgrade to Windows 7, despite the generally positive reviews from beta testers.

Fully 50% said they were considering leaving Windows altogether -- up from 27% two years ago -- and Mac OS X was the system they are most likely to switch to.

Among the survey's other findings:

  • 53% of those who will upgrade to Windows 7 say that they are doing so primarily to avoid Windows Vista
  • 67% state concerns about Windows 7, with 88% of those worried about software compatibility
  • 83% will skip Vista and migrate directly to Windows 7
  • 72% are more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying on Windows XP
  • 14% have already switched or started the process of switching operating systems (up from 11% in    2008)

In addition to Mac OS X, enterprises are looking at a rainbow of Unix alternatives, as shown in the chart below:

non-Windows alternatives

The full survey is available through KACE here (registration required).

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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