Compatibility Concerns Hinder Vista Upgrades, IT Pros Say

By Deborah Perelman  |  Posted 01-23-2007

Microsoft's new operating system may be the most eagerly anticipated release of the past 10 years, but concerns over compatibility, bugs and security are keeping many IT professionals from doing so soon, according to the survey released Jan. 23 by Cambridge, Mass.-based Bit9, a provider of desktop lockdown solutions.

Only 68 percent of IT pros reported that they'd be upgrading to Vista in 2007, though very few had made immediate plans. Of those who had expressed their intention to shift to the new operating system, 58 percent said they'd be waiting six months to one year after the launch to do so, while but 10 percent planned to roll out the upgrade in the next six months.

Concerns over software compatibility were expressed by 38 percent of the tech professionals, followed by hardware compatibility concerns (17 percent), a desire to wait for bugs to work themselves out (7 percent) and security concerns (6 percent).

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Fifty-nine percent cited improved security, 44 percent noted "a desire to use the latest and greatest technology" and 29 percent of IT professionals said enforcing compliance is among the features that would lure them to upgrade.

While improved security was considered a plus, it was also a concern for IT professionals, uncertain if they would adopt User Access Control, a highly discussed feature of Vista limiting the ability of users and software to damage the computing environment. Eighty-one percent say they were unsure they would use it, 14 percent said they intended to, and 4 percent said they would not.

Of those who said they'd implement the feature, nearly 70 percent said they'd provide administrative rights to IT, making exceptions for software developers (35 percent) and non-IT executives (34 percent).

Only 7 percent of those surveyed felt "completely" comfortable with Microsoft's client security. Forty-two percent preferred alternative offerings, but would evaluate Microsoft; 17 percent say they would "never" feel comfortable totally relying on Microsoft for security.

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