Practical Technology

for practical people.

Vista Adoption going no-where, IT considering Linux and Mac instead


KACE, a systems management appliance company, announced that their recent survey of IT administrators showed that 60 percent of them have no plans to deploy Vista. That’s almost 10% more turning their backs on Vista then in KACE’s last survey in November 2007 . According to the company press release, “42 percent of them said they would consider deployment of alternative operating systems, such as Mac OS and Linux, in order to avoid a migration to Vista.”

11% of Windows users have already decided to switch rather than ‘upgrade’ to Vista. Of that number, 29% plan to changeover to the Mac, followed by 24% to Red Hat Linux, 21% to Ubuntu Linux, and 15% to SUSE Linux. The remainder plan on switching to another version of Linux.

If you thought the release of Vista SP 1 would make business IT professionals think more kindly about Vista, think again. 92 percent of those surveyed said “the release of Vista Service Pack 1 has not changed their plans for Vista deployment.” Indeed, according to the report, “only 2% of participants responded that SP1 had accelerated their Vista adoption plans and 3% reported that SP1 had actually delayed their plans for Vista adoption.”

“The second version of the Vista Adoption Trends survey clearly demonstrates Microsoft is still fighting an uphill battle with Vista and the release of Vista Service Pack 1 did little to change corporate opinion about the operating system,” said Diane Hagglund of King Research and the survey’s author in a statement. “These same IT departments are evaluating alternative methods to stave off Vista deployment with many moving to the Mac operating system instead. This brings up a whole new set of challenges related to managing heterogeneous environments and compounds the importance of systems management devices that deliver a single interface for diverse operating systems.”

Microsoft, besides just the release of a sub-part operating system in Vista hasn’t done themselves any good with their Windows 7 announcements.. 28% reported that Windows 7 had impacted their plans for Vista deployment. Half of this 28% plan on skipping Vista entirely and waiting for Windows 7 while the rest are delaying their Vista plans until they know more about Windows 7.

It’s not that companies are happy about this choice. Faced with running networks with multiple desktop operating systems, 65 percent said it is challenging to obtain the expertise needed to manage multiple operating systems, up from 49 percent in the November 2007 survey and 41 percent of the respondents reported it is challenging to secure multiple operating systems, up from 25 percent in November 2007.

In other words, they know that by avoiding Vista and replacing it with Linux and Mac OS they’re adding more complexity to their network management work. On the other hand, even with Vista SP1, 83 percent are concerned about Vista’s compatibility with business software. The feeling in those considering switching operating systems seems to be it’s better to use Mac and Linux software, where at least they can be sure that applications will work with the operating system rather than with Vista, which they clearly don’t trust to run business applications.

In a statement, Rob Meinhardt, co-founder and CEO of KACE said “This King Research study suggests that businesses continue to hold off on broad-based Windows adoption due to compatibility, performance, and training concerns. This delay in Vista adoption is leaving the window open longer for Mac and Linux to sneak onto the corporate desktop.”

The full report, titled “Windows Vista Adoption Trends: A Survey of Technology Professionals,” is available online after a short survey. King surveyed IT professionals from small, mid-sized, and large IT organizations in June 2008. The 1,162 participants “represent a wide range of IT functions including hands-on professionals, team managers, and business owners with many participants indicating they had multiple roles within their organizations.” This indicates that the many of them were from SMBs (small-to-medium sized businesses).