Massive Refresh?

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-10-05 Print this article Print


Massive Refresh?

A July report by Deutsche Bank suggested that companies will engage in a massive tech refresh once Windows 7 is released on Oct. 22, with an accompanying uptick in revenue for hardware and software vendors within the Microsoft ecosystem. 

 "Initial industry feedback and the results of our proprietary CIO survey indicate that a faster user take-up than [for] the highly successful Windows XP is likely," said the report's executive summary. "The resulting upgrade cycle could develop into a powerful revenue driver benefitting both software and hardware plays globally."

 Deutsche Bank surveyed 120 IT buyers around the world. The resulting data suggested that Windows 7 would penetrate the market faster than Windows XP or Windows 2000. About 34 percent of respondents said they intended to deploy Windows 7 either immediately upon its release or "relatively early"--within 12 to 18 months after its release. In comparison, it took a full two years for Windows XP and Windows 2000 to reach a 35 percent penetration level. 

Other data concerning Windows 7 adoption has not been quite so rosy, perhaps in keeping with the ambivalence noted by some eWEEK interviewees.

A survey by ScriptLogic, also released in July, suggested that six out of 10 companies would avoid purchasing Windows 7 upon its October debut. Out of the 1,000 companies surveyed, 5.4 percent planned to have the operating system integrated into their IT infrastructure by the end of 2009, while another 34 percent planed to be on board with the operating system by December 2010.

 Of those surveyed, 35 percent cited the economy as a major factor in their decision to hold off on immediately upgrading to Windows 7, while 42 percent said their primary reason was "lack of time and resources."

Whether or not the economy picks up enough for those opinions to swing around, Microsoft has planned an aggressive push for Windows 7, centered on massive price cuts and promotional offers. (The company is also touting a Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program for those who purchase PCs preinstalled with Vista before the new operating system's release). In 2008, a third of the company's revenue, or roughly $20 billion, came from sales of Windows.

Needing to boost its sagging revenues, as well as fend off operating-system competition from both Apple and Google, Microsoft needs Windows 7 to be quickly and generously embraced by both SMBs and the enterprise. But as the launch date approaches, it is still unclear whether those groups will embrace the new Windows OS, hang on to older Windows systems or evaluate a different OS provider altogether.


Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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