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Study: Vista still struggling to gain business users

Less than 10 percent of 50,000 companies surveyed are using Vista, according to Forrester Research, which calls the operating system "New Coke."

In a new study, Forrester Research uncovers some good news for Microsoft: Vista usage among businesses is up by more than 40 percent since January. The bad news: still, less than 10 percent of the 2,300 companies surveyed use Vista.

More troubling for Microsoft may be the fact that most of those Vista installs are replacing versions of Windows other than Windows XP, which remains popular with both businesses and consumers. Forrester says 87.1 percent of companies surveyed continue to use Windows XP.

In the report, Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel writes that Vista is "New Coke," and sees a strong case for bypassing the release altogether.

"Windows 7 is penciled for release in Q1 2010. And who knows, by then, Apple may have even gotten its enterprise act together," Mendel writes.


Microsoft has been touting the fact that Vista adoption is actually on par with past releases, pointing to some new customers, such as the U.S. Air Force. Microsoft Senior Vice President Bill Veghte told CNET News on Wednesday that at the end of June, Vista was actually tracking slightly ahead of Windows XP in corporate adoption at the same stage in its lifecycle.

But even some of the company's showcase early adopter customers are moving more slowly to Vista than originally planned. Continental Airlines said in June of last year that it expected to have 7,000 to 10,000 desktops moved to the operating system by the end of last year. As of May, it had only shifted about 2,600 machines to Vista. Continental now expects the majority of its machines to be on Vista by the end of this year, according to a recent white paper.

Expect to hear more about Vista adoption from Microsoft later on Thursday, when Veghte takes the stage at the company's financial analyst meeting in Redmond, Wash. CNET's Ina Fried is on the scene and will be reporting throughout the day.