News Analysis. Windows' enterprise adoption declined in 2007, with the gains going to Linux and Mac OS. Vista is a bust.
[Editor's Note: This is the first of two posts pulling data from the Forrester Research report, "Enterprise Desktop and Web 2.0/SAAS Platform Trends, 2007."]
Forrester published the data on March 27, but only released it publicly today. Forrester surveyed a whopping 50,000 users at over 2,300 large to very large enterprises throughout 2007.
Windows' enterprise adoption declined 3.7 percent, going from 98.6 percent in January to 94.9 percent in December. Mac OS gained 3 percent, going from 1.2 to 4.2 percent in the same time frame. Linux gained 0.5 percent in 2007.
Adoption of Windows XP held fairly steady, hovering around 90 percent of enterprises. Windows Vista ended the year at 6.3 percent. While Windows' usage declined, "Microsoft's monopoly remains undisputed," wrote Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel. He also cautioned about benefits to Apple:
"While 2007 was a big year for Apple, with its enterprise share growing threefold to
4.2 percent, uptake remains limited to enthusiasts and small workgroups. IT departments
crave standardization, and Macs pose too many problems for IT departments. The verdict
for enterprise-focused vendors is clear: Unless your market is a niche business group,
Windows is the only desktop you need support."
While Windows as a broader product is in no danger, Vista is in real trouble. Mendel wrote: "Vista is having a tough time in enterprises." He noted that Vista's modest gains are coming from Windows 2000. "Its drop of six percentage points mirrored Vista's growth" and XP's adoption "remained fixed." Mendel warned about the future:
"2008 will be a make-or-break year for Vista: One-quarter of enterprises have scheduled
2008 deployments, but given the slow start, little gain in productivity, and the timetabled
release of Windows 7 in H2 2009, businesses may decide to pull back rollouts or skip the
version altogether, pushing Vista the way of Windows Millennium."
What have I been saying about Vista being Windows Me II?
Forrester reports tend to be modestly soft on Microsoft. Repeatedly, I've used data in the reports to question some of their conclusions. Mendel is refreshingly frank. The data speaks for itself. Vista is quickly going nowhere in the enterprise.
Windows is sustained by the power of monopoly, the massive XP ecosystem and the huge costs associated with switching operating systems for enterprises. Someone at Microsoft surely will use the data to say that there is competition in the desktop operating system market. True, but it's coming from Windows XP.