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Gartner: 'Deployed Vista? No? Skip to Windows 7'

As Windows 7's commercial debut looms, one major IT research firm is recommending that if corporate IT shops aren't already well along in deploying Windows Vista, they'd be better off going straight to Vista's replacement -- Windows 7.

"Organizations with a Windows Vista project well underway should stay the course, but most others should target Windows 7," the new research report co-authored by Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Stephen Kleynhans says.

The report reinforces another one Gartner released in late March urging corporate IT to begin planning for Windows 7 deployment as soon as it ships rather than wait for the first service pack before beginning the process.

A recently released survey of 320 network and systems administrators, though, found that quick migration to Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) forthcoming Windows 7 may not be as easy to accomplish as it is to talk about.

The Root of All Deployments

The reason: money, of course.

The survey was performed by Amplitude Research on behalf of VanDyke Software. What the Amplitude study found is that only 23 percent of IT shops surveyed are currently beta testing Windows 7, while about the same number plan to after its official release.

That still leaves 50 percent that have no plans to test Windows 7 at all at this point. The view gets even tougher when the question comes around to those who actually plan to deploy Windows 7 -- 61 percent have no current plans to deploy Windows 7.

Interestingly, those most amenable to moving to Windows 7 are shops whose IT budgets increased in 2009. Of those, 57 percent plan to deploy Windows 7 while, of those whose budgets decreased, only 37 percent had any plans to deploy.

According to the Amplitude Research survey some 41 percent of respondents said their IT budgets declined this year.

"The top two reasons for not deploying Windows 7 were 'Feel more comfortable sticking with current versions of Windows (44 percent)' and 'Can’t justify the return on investment (33.3 percent),'" Amplitude said in a release.

Should I stay or should I go?

Still, there are plenty of variables that have to be taken into account. Nothing is cut and dried, and surveys can yield differing results.

For instance, in a survey of 475 IT firms with 1,000 or more employees, conducted in February and March, and released this week, another Gartner report found only 12 percent indicated they have outright canceled a planned client project since October 2008.

That doesn't mean that some projects haven't been postponed, however.

And a survey released in April by ChangeWave Research, found that 53 percent of 2,000 IT buyers it polled plan to skip Vista altogether and will go directly from XP to Windows 7.

Next page: What could slow corporate adoption?