Half of American Business PCs Can't Run Vista

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-12-05 Email Print this article Print

A new study finds that about half of the average business PCs in North America are unable to meet the minimum requirements for Windows Vista, while 94 percent do not meet the system requirements for Vista Premium.

About half of the average business PCs in North America are unable to meet the minimum requirements for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, while 94 percent do not meet the system requirements for Vista Premium.

Within these figures, 41 percent and 78 percent, respectively, require RAM upgrades to meet the minimum and premium system requirements of Vista, says a new study by Softchoice Research, which is expected to be released later this week.

In comparison, when Windows XP was released, some 71 percent of the PCs met its system requirements, Softchoice services consultant Dean Williams said in an executive summary of the report.

Will your PC run Vista? Click here to find out.

"At the time of release 71 percent of the PCs met the system requirements for Windows XP, whereas only 50 percent of the PCs included in this study meet the minimum requirements to run Windows Vista. This difference suggests that jump in system requirements to run Vista presents a significant barrier to adoption," he said.

The inventory data used in the study represents a total of 112,113 desktops from 472 North American organizations in the financial, health care, technology, education and manufacturing sectors.

Twelve percent of the PCs surveyed will require CPU replacements to run Vista in its minimum configuration, while 16 percent will require CPU replacements to run Vista in its premium configuration, William said.

Vista's minimum CPU requirements have increased 243 percent from those of Windows XP, which in turn had a much smaller increase of 75 percent from Windows 2000's CPU requirements.

Read what other research groups are saying about Vista.

"Ultimately, the rate at which the average business CPU's MHz rating is increasing has not kept pace with Vista: The CPU requirements for Vista have increased 243 percent from those of Windows XP, whereas the speed of the average business PC's CPU has only increased by 215 percent over roughly the same time period," Williams said.

Williams attributes the poor state of hardware readiness among North American companies to the sharp increase in the hardware resources required to run Vista; the fact that many organizations are maintaining longer hardware refresh cycles where they support PCs for more than five years; and a lack of easy access to the PC inventory information needed to implement an effective life cycle management process.

"Most organizations planning to deploy Vista within the next two years will have a PC life cycle that is affected by these factors, which, taken together, present a significant operational and financial stumbling block if not planned for well ahead of time," he said.

Preliminary user surveys suggest that 27 percent of organizations are planning to wait one to two years before undertaking a Vista rollout, with some 33 percent planning to wait between six months and one year.

Click here to read more about how there is no enterprise rush to upgrade to Microsoft's newest products.

"While these findings suggest that many organizations are considering a longer-term deployment schedule, the hardware purchasing decisions made today will undoubtedly impact the viability of a Vista rollout in the coming years," Williams said.

Microsoft estimates that 20 percent of PCs will be running Vista within the first year of its release, double the rate at which XP was adopted in the first year it was made available to the market, he said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Half of American Business PCs Can't Run Vista.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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