Just over a month ago, I cited reports that Microsoft’s run rates for Windows 7 sales worked out to 7 copies per second in my blog “Windows 7 Posts 150M LIcenses Sold…” In the 29-day period from June 23 to July 21, that run rate jumped to 10 copies per second, given cumulative sales of 25 million licenses over that interval, according to a story posted at Computerworld last Friday. My later posting discussed speculations that Microsoft might not be able to maintain this momentum in light of its relatively low (25%) conversion rate among enterprise-class buyers, most of whom continue to use Windows XP. Looks like that has not dampened momentum for Windows 7 uptake, in light of this recent uptick.
That raises the very interesting question of whether or not surveying blog or article readers to assess market intentions or status is valid. My best guess is that those who read articles about Windows 7 are already showing tangible signs of interest in the OS, and that they probably represent a different population than the entire enterprise IT sector. What makes the question — or rather the characteristics of those who would choose to read and respond to such surveys — interesting, is that the composition of such readership isn’t clear, nor can it be demonstrated to consist solely (or even mostly) of enterprise IT professionals.
My gut feeling is that those who are interested in Windows 7 come from all walks of life, including some enterprise IT professionals but also SMB IT professionals as well as plenty of people who probably work outside the IT umbrella entirely. Surveying this population to determine enterprise interest or intent is probably a risky proposition at best, if not downright meaningless. The close correlation between the survey results and the declared intentions of enterprise-class outfits might be accidental or uninformative as well.
I have to believe that the combination of an aging PC fleet, impending cutoffs for XP support and updates, and genuine performance and security improvements in Windows 7 as compared to XP will help, not hinder, enterprise migrations from the older Windows platform to the newer one. When the balance will tip and enterprise adoptions and migrations start speeding up, however, remains anybody’s guess. Just in case the conventional wisdom that enterprises will indeed wait for SP1 to be released before migrating proves true, MS would be well-advised to push that date forward rather than allowing it to occur later rather than sooner.