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Most IT pros not planning on Windows 7 rollout

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The recessionary squeeze on IT departments' manpower and finances will hinder the rollout of Windows 7, according to a major poll of IT professionals.

Nearly 60 per cent of those in small, medium and large organizations currently have no plans whatsoever to deploy Microsoft's next client, says Windows management specialist ScriptLogic's survey.

Thirty-four per cent said they were likely to deploy by the end of 2010, approximately a year after Windows 7 ships. The operating system is due on October 22, 2009.

A diehard 5.4 per cent said they would deploy this year, with 1.4 per cent - the alpha-male types - saying they've already gone live.

The biggest block to rolling out Windows 7 is the amount of time and resources it will consume - a factor cited by nearly 43 per cent. That means the time and staff it'll take to test the operating system with companies' existing applications, to cut desktop images, and to then install those images on PCs.

Compatibility with existing applications was the second biggest factor to rolling out Windows 7. This was an issue with 39.1 per cent.

Nearly 35 per cent have tried to save money by skipping upgrades or postponing purchase of new software. A fifth of the organizations do not have the manpower because they've cut staff or delayed hiring.

Skipping software upgrades and purchases might have added to the problem of staff cutbacks. Some software can manage an automated rollout of Windows 7 desktops. Automation could have sidestepped the lack of staff.

Not buying Windows Vista could also have added to the problem. There's expected to be a greater degree of application compatibility between Windows 7 and Widows Vista than between Windows 7 and the eight-year-old Windows XP, which has become the de facto business desktop.

ScriptLogic's findings will jolt Microsoft who's already deemed Windows 7 a success, at least in hitting the development milestones. The data also runs counter to an apparently emerging industry wisdom that Microsoft's next client will be a relative shoo-in compared to Windows Vista, because it offers significantly improved performance - and because nothing could ever be as bad as Windows Vista.

The management vendor released the survey findings as Microsoft kicked off its annual Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it'll use sessions and executive keynotes to evangelize partners into selling and supporting Windows 7.

ScriptLogic polled 1,100 IT professionals, spanning IT administrators and mangers at organizations of all sizes. ®

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