Microsoft commissioned a Forrester Research study aimed at determining what the enterprise was looking for in a follow-up to the company's ubiquitous Windows operating system. It then used that report as a starting point to make its case to companies that Windows 7, unlike Windows Vista, is a compelling solution for organizations that are looking to transform their businesses.
There's just one problem: Microsoft's sponsored study didn't make its argument clearly enough.
Citing data Forrester Research compiled on the corporate world's bloated PC images, decentralization issues, and far too many calls for help on simple solutions, Microsoft tried to make the case that if a company deploys Windows 7 across the network, many of those problems will be mitigated. And over the long-term, Microsoft claims, companies will be able to save money just by deploying Windows 7. Microsoft was so caught up in numbers that the company claimed the enterprise might be able to save up to $54 per PC per year in power savings. It went on to say that the total cost savings of IT labor will be $89 to $160 per PC per year. That argument might appeal to some that only want to see how much cash Microsoft can save them, but for the vast majority of companies, it probably wasn't enough. Microsoft's biggest issue isn't necessarily selling companies on Windows 7, it's selling those companies on Microsoft.
Microsoft made far too many promises with Windows Vista that it just couldn't keep. It promised better security out of the box. It said that the operating system would sport new features that companies would love. It even said that it would be a better operating system than Windows XP. If enterprise adoption is a key indicator of Microsoft's success at delivering those features, the company failed.