Survey: More using Vista, but some concerns increasing

Survey: More using Vista, but some concerns increasing

Bugs, hardware requirements, unclear benefits are top Vista issues

More users are starting to evaluate and deploy Windows Vista, but they are showing more concern over perceived performance and patching improvements and the operating system's hardware requirements, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by Walker Information for IT services and product supplier CDW, shows that nearly 30 percent of respondents are using or evaluating Vista. The software shipped in November 2006 to corporate users. The Vista Tracking Poll was the second conducted by Walker for CDW. An identical survey was done last November.

The poll shows that 87 percent of respondents plan to eventually adopt Vista. The survey was conducted among businesses with one to 100 or more employees, state/local government agencies, K-12 education and higher-education institutions.

The poll is available for free but requires a user's e-mail address to download.

The survey of 753 IT decision makers showed an 8 percent increase over the first poll in terms of deployments and evaluations of Vista by corporate users.

Since the first survey, 1 percent of users had completed Vista implementations, and another 19 percent planned to complete their implementations in the next 12 months.

The survey also found that 6 percent of organizations are implementing Vista on a schedule that extends beyond 12 months, while 13 percent plan to start their implementations in the next year. Another 13 percent said they have no plans to upgrade.

"I don't think we were surprised by any of the data," says JoEllen Amato-Tuck, Microsoft brand manager for CDW. "It seems to be in line with what the first survey showed."

The company plans a third survey sometime between September and December. CDW says the tracking poll will show over time how evaluation variables and deployment strategies are progressing.

The second version of the survey revealed that user concerns over hardware requirements being too excessive rose 9 percent over the first survey, from 28 percent to 37 percent. It was the fourth most common concern. The first was the expectation of bugs in the first Vista release.

A full 18 percent of users said they would need to upgrade 91 percent to 100 percent of their Windows-based hardware for it to be Vista compatible, a 2 percent increase over the first survey.

Also, concerns that the benefits of adopting Vista are not clear enough rose 6 percent from 32 percent to 38 percent.

The concern that showed the steepest decline was having enough money to pay for a migration, which fell from 30 percent to 25 percent. Only 5 percent of respondents in the second survey said they had no concerns about Vista, down from 6 percent in the first survey.

On the whole, CDW concluded that benefits continue to outweigh user concerns over Vista

The top benefit in both polls was improved security with 78 percent of respondents citing that feature. But the second poll showed that fewer respondents think Vista's performance and patching represent improvements in the software.

Positive perception of performance as a key benefit was down 7 percent from 63 percent to 56 percent. Patching fell from 31 percent to 25 percent and Windows Update from 36 percent to 30 percent.

Those were the only downward changes that were statistically significant, according to CDW.

In terms of user attitudes, 26 percent of respondents reported strong-positive and positive feedback compared to just 13 percent reporting some-negative or negative feedback. Of those reporting feedback, 82 percent said it was neutral or positive.

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