IT's 'Love Affair' with Windows XP Ending, Says Survey

Businesses are finally prying their hands from Windows XP as they warm to Windows 7, a research company said today.

By Gregg Keizer
Wed, March 17, 2010

Computerworld — Businesses are finally prying their hands from Windows XP as they warm to Windows 7, a research company said today.

[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's (MSFT) new Windows 7 operating system -- including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts-- see's Windows 7 Bible. ]

"Over the years, IT has had a real love affair with XP," said Diane Hagglund, a senior analyst at Dimensional Research and the author of a poll that surveyed over 900 IT professionals in January. "It was just a great OS. It just worked for them. But that feeling is going away."

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According to Hagglund, 60% of those polled said that they were more concerned about the cost and overhead of migrating to Windows 7 than they were about continuing to supporting the nearly-nine-year-old Windows XP. The remaining 40% felt the opposite, that they were more worried about holding XP's hand than migrating to Windows 7.

While the majority is still with XP on this, the trend is towards Windows 7, Hagglund noted. In April 2009, when Dimensional did a similar survey and asked the same question of IT administrators, 72% sided with XP , only 28% with Windows 7.

In other words, one out of every six IT professionals who last year would have taken XP over Windows 7 was won over by the new operating system in the intervening nine months.

"Windows 7 is looking pretty good to more businesses," said Hagglund. "Part of what's happening with XP, I think, is like when you're very wedded to the spouse you have because there's no other choice. But now, there's this other one out there," she continued, casting Windows 7 as that younger trophy spouse.

The push to move off Windows XP may accelerate as its support retirement date approaches; Microsoft will stop shipping security updates for the aged OS in April 2014.

But the increased faith in Windows 7, which Microsoft launched last October, is an even bigger factor, Hagglund maintained. "The vibes for Windows 7 have been very positive, especially when compared to Vista's," she said.

Hagglund highlighted some of the results from her survey to prove her point. IT professionals are almost twice as likely to say that they're planning to deploy Windows 7 than they were at the same point in Vista's career, while more than half said they would move to the new OS by the end of this year.

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