Microsoft Windows 7, being introduced today in New York, appears to be the operating system that businesses have been waiting for. Some 76 percent of those surveyed plan to deploy the new OS, with 30 percent deploying before mid-2010.
The study, conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Corp. and Sunbelt Software, suggests an adoption rate not matched since the introduction of Windows 2000, the acceptance of which was driven by Y2K fears. (Read more survey results here).
The survey results, released this week, also found that 78 percent of those who tested a beta copy of Windows 7 had a good or excellent experience with it. This strongly suggests that Microsoft has finally found the "sweet spot" that Windows Vista so widely missed.
These results are wonderful news for Microsoft, whose "less-is-more" response to the Windows Vista mess appears to have impressed business customers. Today's formal introduction, however, is a bit of an anticlimax as everyone, besides home users, who wanted to see Windows 7 have had their chance already.
The Windows 7 open beta process seems to have generated good buzz for the new operating system and perhaps a little boredom at this point. There does not seem to be too much left for Microsoft to say about the new OS, though Steve Ballmer's announcement remarks may still contain a surprise or two.
For those who don't plan to deploy Windows 7, its biggest competitor is Windows XP, because of its satisfied customers, and companies who cannot afford the investment at this time. There is, after all, still a global recession going on, which makes the survey's high adoption rate even more surprising. It will be interesting to see how many companies are actually able to follow through on their Windows 7 intentions.
Reading between the lines, the survey results seem to bode well for hardware manufacturers, who have suffered as customers held on to Windows XP machines rather than upgrade to Windows Vista.
My take: This is just a single survey, but analyst Rob Enderle believes it to be credible and I agree, if only because it's not Microsoft-sponsored. The results are better for Windows 7 than I would have guessed, but seem to reflect a tremendous amount of pent-up demand after the XP-era lasted many more years than expected.
I am not ready, based on this survey or others that I have seen, to declare Windows 7 to be an incredible success. That will come when business customers begin writing large checks, but it does appear that Window 7 has finally put the ghost of Windows Vista to rest.