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Enterprise Adoption of Vista at 'Single Digits,' Report Says

Windows Vista has been "rejected," or is not widely adopted in the enterprise segment, according to a Forrester Research report.

The Windows Vista operating system has been "rejected," or is not widely adopted in the enterprise segment, according to a Forrester Research report released on Wednesday that describes enterprise software adoption trends for the desktop.

The study surveyed large enterprises throughout the first half of 2008. It found Vista adoption in the enterprise to be 8.8 percent in June, up from 6.2 percent at the beginning of the year.

The report, "Enterprise Trends: Vista Is Rejected; Mozilla and Apple Make Small Gains," was written with the aim of giving software vendors an idea on what to expect as they develop their products for desktop use.

By no means is Windows out of the picture, especially with wide use of Microsoft's legacy Windows XP operating system in the enterprise. The report recommends that vendors "develop exclusively for Windows XP and Vista," which account for the vast majority of operating systems used.

In addition, the authors recommend that software vendors "forget about Macs" unless they are developing solutions for specific enterprise markets that utilize Macintosh computers.

Linux desktop use in the enterprise was negligible, at less than one percent, according to the report.

For its part, Microsoft estimates that it has sold 180 million Vista licenses, as reported during its 2008 Financial Analyst Meeting, held on July 24. That 180-million figure is "very balanced across both consumer and enterprise," according to Bill Veghte, senior vice president of Microsoft's Online Services & Windows Business Group, who spoke at the event.

Veghte added that the adoption of Vista accelerated in the enterprise after Service Pack 1 was released. Microsoft released Vista SP1 to manufacturers in February of this year.

"You saw those enterprises accelerating that deployment," said Veghte to the financial analyst crowd, referring to Vista SP1. "And as one of you wrote on recently, we're seeing that track very consistently with the deployment cycle we saw in enterprises around XP."

The authors of Forrester's report had a different view.

"Eighteen months after the release of Windows Vista, enterprise adoption is still in the single digits, and the majority of that seems to have come from upgrades of legacy Windows versions, not XP," it stated.

The report added that Vista adoption in the enterprise "appears falling short of planned deployment," based on the group's previous research.

In any case, many developers seem to have caught up with making their applications compatible with Vista since its initial release. Veghte said at the Financial Analyst Meeting that more than 250 commercial applications are now compatible with Vista.

Forrester's enterprise desktop Windows OS adoption numbers appear to track well with data collected by KACE, a maker of a systems management appliance that lets users share OS use information. An informal KACE poll found that 85 percent of its enterprise respondents used Windows XP.

Forrester's study polled "more than 50,000 users at more than 2,300 large to very large enterprises." It also examined browser use, Java and Flash adoption and matters such as screen resolution and color depth. The report can be accessed here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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