Windows XP Adoption Rates Slow

Although many are eagerly awaiting Microsoft next version of Windows, known as Longhorn, a recent study by AssetMetrix shows that many companies have not even upgraded to Windows XP, a full four years after its release.

The study reports that Windows 2000 is installed on 48 percent of all corporate PCs as of the first quarter of this year, only falling four percent since the last quarter of 2003. In comparison, usage of Windows XP rose from 6.6 to 38 percent during the same period.

The large number of users still on the older operating system poses a problem for Microsoft, who intends to phase out Windows 2000 support at the end of the month.

Even older operating systems from Microsoft are still in use. One in ten computers runs Windows NT, down from 13.5 percent. The biggest drop was recorded in those still running Windows 95 or 98, which fell from 28 percent at the end of 2003 to less than 5 percent this past quarter.

AssetMetrix said the findings of the study show that most companies seem to be upgrading just out of hardware obsolescence rather than keeping up with the latest and greatest operating systems offered by Microsoft. Older Windows 95 and 98 computers seem to be getting replaced by computers running Windows XP.

"Companies re-deploying PCs, without a policy to manage and support their operating systems, will have their Windows XP transition rate dictated by PC obsolescence rather than by intelligent planning and forecasting," Steve O'Halloran of AssetMetrix explained.

The general lassiez-faire attitude on upgrading by companies is problematic for Microsoft, which is hoping most users will upgrade to Longhorn once it becomes available. But many corporations are beginning to echo the sentiments of consumers - saying the current version of Windows they are running is "good enough."

"Corporations' slow Windows XP adoption is one reason not to sweat Longhorn delays," Joe Wilcox of JupiterResearch wrote in his Microsoft Monitor web log earlier this week. "Even if Microsoft magically shipped the OS tomorrow, many businesses wouldn't be ready for the software."

Wilcox mentioned that 10 percent businesses with more than 250 employees still run Windows 95 according to Jupiter Research data.

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