Earlier this month Tami Reller, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer for Windows, announced that Windows 7 had reached 50% deployment in business. That stat presents the ultimate “glass half full” or “glass half empty” moment. Is the IT world doing well because half of business PCs are running Windows 7? Or is the IT world in deep trouble because half of business PCs are still running Windows XP with only 20 months left until end of support?
A quick look at data from NetApplications shows that overall Windows 7 usage on the web (including all business and consumer users who visited the large pool of websites used in their sample) still trails Windows XP, but at least the curves are about to intersect.
Regardless of your optimistic or pessimistic view of “50%”, we’re finding trouble brewing behind the data. From our vantage point, the Windows 7 migrations that have been done to date have been the easy ones, primarily in small/medium business and education. When you look at very large enterprise – banks, healthcare and insurance companies, government organizations – where Browsium does the majority of our business, the picture is not so rosy. These enterprises are struggling to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 … and to eradicate IE6 and IE7 in the process.
Though it’s difficult to find hard data on the situation, we estimate that 20% of PCs in large enterprise (defined as organizations with 10,000 or more PCs for this discussion) have migrated to Windows 7, with 80% left behind on Windows XP. This estimate is corroborated by many in the IT industry — the CIOs we talk to daily, the systems integrators who run the migration projects, and even the Microsoft enterprise sales force who are more motivated than anyone to help their largest customers modernize their desktop platforms. And we continually hear that legacy web applications are the number one blocker to migration. When it costs millions of dollars to rewrite or replace a critical business application, migration projects invariably stall until a cost-effective solution can be found. Fortunately for everyone, that solution in available today in Browsium Ion.
So there’s clearly a lot of work yet to be done in large enterprise to move PC environments to Windows 7 and a modern browser. If you’re in IT in a large enterprise still running Windows XP and IE6, you can find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone, and frankly are still in the majority. If you work for an integrator, get ready for a very busy next few years as all of these enterprise organizations play ‘beat the clock‘ to be done with the move to Windows 7 by April 2014. With Browsium’s help, we think many will make it.