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Thanks to everyone who responded to the independent, joint ITIC/Sunbelt Software survey on Windows 7, Desktop Infrastructure and Cloud Services deployment trends and issues. Please NOTE: no vendors sponsored this survey or in any way influenced the results.

Over 400 of you from 22 countries took time out of your busy schedules to respond to our poll.

Windows 7 is a winner!

As we noted in our previous blog, Windows 7 officially celebrates its 1st birthday, today — October 22nd. And there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Yes, Windows 7 has sold over 240 million copies, to date making it the fastest selling OS in Microsoft’s (or any vendor’s) history. And yes, many of those sales can be attributed to pent-up demand because the overwhelming majority of the Windows installed base elected to remain on Windows XP and skip Vista. Admittedly, many organizations would opt to remain on Windows XP indefinitely if Microsoft was not ending support for the nearly 10 year old desktop OS. Those disclaimers aside, Windows 7’s success is no fluke.

A three-quarters majority – 73 percent of the 400+ respondents to the latest joint Sunbelt Software/ITIC poll, gave Windows 7 an “excellent,” “very good” or “good” rating.

That’s very close to the 80 percent majority of beta and early adopters who gave the Windows 7 the same high marks in the 2009 survey. The latest responses, coming after corporations have used Windows 7 in production for a full year, provides the best evidence that the Microsoft operating system is living up to the hype and fulfilling business’ needs. Only a small three percent minority of survey respondents gave Windows 7 a “Poor” and/or “Unsatisfactory” rating.

And a 72 percent majority of survey participants say they have already deployed, are in the process of deploying or will shortly deploy Windows 7. Only 7 percent of those polled indicated that they are “unlikely” to deploy Windows 7 at all and none of the respondents said they plan on switching to a rival operation system.

Lack of funds was the chief reason cited by the remaining 21 percent of respondents who said they have no definitive plans to upgrade to Windows 7 over the next 12 months. Anecdotal user comments confirmed that many companies are still in the grip of a recession and will wait until they upgrade their desktop hardware to migrate to Windows 7.

Windows XP is still the most widely deployed desktop OS – with 90 percent of the respondents indicating it was present in their shops. But Windows 7 is catching up quickly: 83 percent of those polled say they’ve deployed Windows 7 compared to only 37 percent who have Windows Vista.

Interestingly, the Apple Mac is the most popular non-Windows operating system as mainstream enterprises continue to adopt it. According to our poll, Apple Macs are present in 28 percent of your networks – which is three times more than the two most popular Linux and open source operating system distributions. Nine percent of survey respondents indicated they use Red Hat Linux and Ubuntu – the latter of which has made steady gains in the last two years.

Among large enterprises, IBM’s AIX was clearly the most popular UNIX distribution, besting both HP UX and Sun Solaris (now owned by Oracle) by a 2 to 1 margin.

Nearly two-thirds or 60% of you indicated you will deploy Windows 7; 30% of you say you’ll migrate to the new Microsoft desktop operating system within the first six months while another 30% say intend to make the transition sometime within the year. Four out of 10 businesses – 40% — have no definitive migration timetable.

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