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Forrester Gets Schizophrenic on Windows Vista

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Old 07-25-2008
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Forrester Gets Schizophrenic on Windows Vista
This week Forrester Research analyst Thomas Mendel published a report that claims that Windows Vista has been “rejected” in the enterprise and suggests to his customers that they should re-evaluate their Windows Vista deployments and consider waiting for Windows 7. Not surprisingly, this is something that we, our millions of enterprise customers, and a bunch of pesky statistics don’t agree with. Heck, even Forrester doesn’t agree with Forrester! Let me explain:

First, this report doesn’t reflect the normal enterprise OS adoption cycle. Enterprise adoption of OSes has always been much slower than consumer adoption. After all, upgrading the PC in your living room is easy, but upgrading an entire front and back end infrastructure to thousands of users without downtime is much more complex, and that takes time. Computerworld contributing author (and Microsoft partner) David Feng just wrote an article about this, too. Mendel’sreport, however, simply skims over this common knowledge.

What is even more puzzling is that Mr. Mendel’s report directly contradicts another Forrester report titled, Building the Business Case for Windows Vista,” which was written by fellow analyst Ben Gray. This report outlines the five main reasons why enterprises should start their company’s migration to Windows Vista now. You can read it for yourself here.Mendel’s reportalso goes against other industry analyst reports that show that Windows Vista adoption is progressing faster, or at the very least, just as fast, as Windows XP adoption did when it first launched.

It’s also important to note that we’ve sold 180 million copies of Windows Vista so far, 40 million of which were in the last quarter alone, and that there are thousands of enterprise customers deploying Windows Vista by the thousands of seats on a weekly basis, including heavy hitters like The United States Air Force, PPG Industries, and Cerner.

Given that there’s a mountain of evidence to refute this report – including multiple reports from Forrester and other top-tier analysts - this appears to be more focused on making sensationalist statements, rather than offering a thoughtful industry perspective, based on conversations with IT operations professionals or deep knowledge of enterprise deployment cycles. How is this useful guidance to customers? It’s disappointing to see such a respected organization like Forrester take this approach.

- Chris

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