And confidence in Windows 7 has climbed since the OS shipped. Last April, 67 percent of those polled said they had concerns about the upcoming operating system; this year, only 56 percent said they did. "The difference was the release of the operating system, the biggest part of that from hands-on experience," Hagglund said as she explained why some in IT have changed their minds about Windows 7. "They're trying it at home, many of them, long before it comes to them professionally, so they know what it's like."
IT's specific concerns about Windows 7 have also changed. While 62 percent of those polled last April said they were worried about Windows 7's stability and 47 percent expressed concern over its performance, in the most recent survey, those numbers fell to 41 and 25 percent, respectively.
"What I see that saying is that Microsoft did a great job with this thing," said Hagglund, "because the concerns about Windows 7 that Microsoft had the most control over, like stability and performance, are the ones where fewer people are worried."
Hagglund admitted to only one survey result that took her aback. "I was shocked by how few said they weren't waiting for SP1," she said. Forty-six percent of those polled said they wouldn't wait for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to deploy the operating system. "That may not sound like a lot, but for IT, it's a huge number," Hagglund added, referring to the tradition among businesses to wait for an operating system's first service pack before migrating.
Two weeks ago, when a usually accurate site reported that Microsoft had ditched plans to postpone Windows 7 SP1, Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, argued that if there was a time to ignore the SP1 tradition, this was it. "This time, waiting for SP1 may be doing yourself a disservice," Cherry said at the time.
Dimensional's survey was conducted for Kace, a systems management appliance company that was acquired by computer maker Dell last month. Hagglund's report can be obtained at Kace's site (registration required).
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
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