Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 is slated for widespread availability on March 1, after a gala launch on February 27. But when will it enter widespread usage? A major report released today seems to present an overly rosy picture.
With Windows Server 2008 to be widely available to everyone in March, how many businesses and other organizations are really going to migrate to the new OS, and when? Technology retailer CDW Corp. today released survey results claiming that 68% of all organizations are going to adopt the new Windows Server, with 18% already in the planning stages.
But despite updated capabilities for WS2K8 such as virtualization, better support for clustering, built-in PowerShell, and the Server Core command-line-only installation option, CDW's success estimates might still be more than a tad on the rosy side.
CDW is a reseller of Windows licenses, in addition to other software and hardware. Back when Microsoft was preparing Windows Vista for retail shipment, for instance, CDW predicted that 86% of all organizations would eventually adopt Vista, with 20% doing so within the first 12 months.
According to those numbers, 48% of organizations were either "using or evaluating" Vista as of January. But since only 35 percent of those organizations had entered some stage of migration to Vista, this would suggest that almost two-thirds of the customers within that subgroup of "48 percent of organizations" are still merely evaluating the software.
Businesses are well known for being slow to upgrade to new operating systems anyway. Major enterprises often wait until they can cost-justify migration on the basis of some compelling benefit -- or, at least until the major bugs have been worked out.
But there are a couple of factors that might further hamper the adoption of Windows Server 2008. One of these impacts organizations that have already bothered to upgrade to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft doesn't plan to end support for that OS until 2015.
Another concerns WS2K8's status as what Microsoft characterizes a "complementary" server OS to Vista, especially in the installation department: New tools will enable administrators to deploy Vista clients remotely, using pre-assembled packages that contain their businesses' custom setups. It's one of many compelling reasons for businesses to migrate their servers and clients in sync with each other...At least that's Microsoft's hope.
According to CDW's own numbers, about 34% of respondents acknowledged a connection between their deployment plans for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
There's growing concern about two different "drivers" for Vista's uptake, one coming from the consumer, and the other based around business needs...and the gulf that exists between those drivers. Given the lack of popularity of Vista among many consumers, some of them may have already chosen to forego Vista entirely, sticking with Windows XP, and wait instead for Vista's replacement -- currently called "Windows 7?"
The anecdotal evidence in that direction is strong. "I understand tha major coprporate users have told Microsoft there is 'no way' they will be adopting Vista. I also hear that Microsoft is working furiously to develop a Vista succesor," wrote one user on an Internet message board.