Datamation has news a survey that Microsoft must be quite happy about. Businesses overwhelmingly like Windows 7. Of course, that's a stark contrast from the reaction from Windows Vista, which pretty much nobody liked. The positive reaction to Windows 7 is actually pretty staggering.

Rob Enderle writes:

Laura DiDio over at ITIC partnered with Sunbelt Software to survey 1,600 people to find out what companies were really planning. The results she has captured would suggest an adoption wave for Windows 7 unmatched since Windows 2000 (which was driven by the Y2K problems).

If this holds, they'll be partying in Redmond. Here are the more specific results for the population surveyed:

The survey results indicate that 24% of the population currently has no plans to deploy, 37% intend to deploy quickly (within a year), and 39% are currently working to develop a deployment schedule. Net that is 76% that are planning to deploy, a vastly larger number than I can recall getting when I did surveys like this.

Specific timing questions had an amazing 17% (likely led by the smallest of firms) planning to deploy within 3 months, 12% (likely still small) in 3 to 6 months, 11% (mid-range) in 6 to 9 months, 8% (still mid range) in 9 to 12 months, and 12% (enterprise) after the first service pack ships.

76% planning to deploy is extremely impressive. It's also pretty unfortunate news for Linux and Apple. Although Apple, in particular, has made some headway in the personal computer market, Windows remains far more prevalent with businesses. This survey indicates that this tradition is likely to continue. Only 1.9% who said they were not planning to use Windows 7 listed the reason as "thinking of moving to something else (this is the IBM Linux/Apple opportunity)."

Much of this results from Windows 7's excellent beta testing:

A whopping 42% gave the product in beta an excellent ranking; 36% placed it as very good; 13% ranked it as good (good or better over 90%); 8% was satisfactory; 1% poor (betting Apple users),;and .5% completely unsatisfactory (betting Linux users).

With this kind of success, if Microsoft markets properly, it's hard to imagine that it won't have a big winner on its hands, particularly for business. The personal computer market's reaction might be a bit less enthusiastic, since it has different needs. Of course, in the current recession, few consumers or businesses will want to incur additional expenses that they don't need to, so it isn't exactly hitting the market at the right time. But a slower ramp up isn't necessarily a failure. Even if it takes awhile, if the numbers approach what this survey indicates, then Microsoft should be very pleased.

Note: I should add that this survey was not sponsored by Microsoft, and consequently, Enderle finds it more credible than others he's seen.

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