Corporate PCs Ready for Windows 7, Unlike Vista, Report Finds

Microsoft Windows 7 is likely to face a better reception than Windows Vista did at its launch, according to a report by Softchoice, which finds that far more corporate desktops and notebooks meet Windows 7's minimum requirements than met the requirements for Vista.

There's good news for Microsoft. According to IT asset management company Softchoice, 88 percent of corporate PCs are able to meet the minimum hardware system requirements to run Windows 7, which will finally arrive Oct. 22.
The finding is particularly meaningful when compared with the launch of Windows Vista. At the time, only 50 percent of PCs were able to support Vista's minimum requirements. Furthermore, while 65 percent of current corporate PCs are able to run Windows 7 in its optimal configuration, only 6 percent could run Vista optimally.
"Since so few organizations made the switch to Vista, over 90 percent of PCs have remained on Windows XP-an operating system about to celebrate its 10th birthday-while close to 5 percent are running operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports," Softchoice Services Development Manager Dean Williams said in a research note Oct.15.
"Given the added risks and costs of maintaining aging infrastructure, organizations would be well advised to begin planning their move to more current technology. The fact that so many organizations are already entitled to do so through Microsoft's Software Assurance should remove cost as a potential barrier," Williams continued.
In its survey of 450,000 corporate PCs, Softchoice additionally found legacy operating systems widely deployed. In a typical organization, it reported, more than nine out of 10 PCs have XP installed, and nearly one in 10 have a combination of Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0-neither of which is still supported by Microsoft. On average, Softchoice found Vista installed on 3 percent of desktops.
Of those PCs requiring upgrades, 12 percent require a hard drive upgrade to run Windows 7, versus 19 percent that needed the same to run Vista; 12 percent require a RAM upgrade to run Windows, while 41 percent previously did to run Vista; and 12 percent require an overall update, while 50 percent of PCs did in order to run Vista's minimum specifications.
"We've seen a sea change compared to the landscape in which Vista was introduced," Williams said. "Organizations have some work to do to shore up a small percentage of their fleet, but the natural PC refresh cycle has more or less eliminated system requirements as a potential stumbling block to deploying Windows 7. The migration question is now about understanding the benefits of switching as well as implementing a plan to minimize any potential deployment headaches."