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Untruths come in several flavors (in order of heinousness): lies, damned lies, and statistics. And then there are survey results from a source with a self-serving axe to grind. You can put any spin you want on such reports, as long as it's done with a straight face.
Where's the beef?
ScriptLogic, a subsidiary of enterprise management software specialist Quest Software (Nasdaq: QSFT ) , just released the results of a market survey. The burning question: does your company plan to deploy the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) anytime soon?
The inflammatory verdict is that "60% of IT administrators do not plan to deploy Microsoft Windows 7." 43% of 1,100 respondents blame a lack of time and resources for completing a migration, and 39% worry about application compatibility. Therefore, dear press release reader, you should conclude that your own company needs a ScriptLogic product that makes any OS rollout on a corporate scale much smoother and easier. Right?
I come to a very different conclusion, based on my experience as a systems administrator. In that past life, we would never have rolled out Sun Microsystems' (NYSE: JAVA ) Solaris 8 or IBM's (NYSE: IBM ) AIX 5L onto our enterprise-class development servers. Production? Forget it! Every program upgrade required weeks or months of vetting and testing before doing anything drastic. An operating system upgrade is not taken lightly by corporate IT directors.
You may see a few news outlets proclaiming the imminent death and failure of the Windows 7 launch, based on ScriptLogic's survey results. When you do, remember than nearly 40% of those respondents have already committed to this upgrade by the end of 2010. That's actually a phenomenal turnout, especially since the operating system hasn't even launched yet -- much less been put through the cruel and unusual punishment of widespread quality assurance testing.
Let's cut Mr. Softy a break here
Microsoft may be losing on a couple of fronts, like the never-ending fight against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) in the online search market, or to VMware (NYSE: VMW ) when it comes to virtualization software. But Windows 7 does not look like a repeat of Vista's miseries, and even Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) might have to give some stolen market share back to Redmond this time.
So back off, ScriptLogic. Corporate America is just being cautiously optimistic.
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