Last week, I revisited a poll question on Windows XP that we have asked several times in the past few years. The basic idea is to determine if there is a trend away from Microsoft Windows XP as the primary business operating system. Since much of the TechRepublic membership is on the front lines when it comes to deploying and supporting operating systems in the organizations they work for, it makes sense that they would have first-hand perspective on the poll topic.
I also thought the timing of the poll this time would be interesting because we are on the cusp of the full Windows 8 release and the corresponding marketing blitz that will accompany it. Microsoft will be pushing Windows 8 at a time when most organizations are just now rolling out Windows 7.
When we ran these poll questions in August 2011, the results showed that most of the respondents were still using Windows XP at a clip of 75% or better, while an even greater percentage had implemented Windows 7 for less than 25% of their computers.
Last week's poll shows that slowly but surely, businesses are migrating away from Windows XP. In August 2011, 56% said that more than 75% of their desktop systems were running XP, but last week's responses show that percentage had dropped to 43%.
On the flip side of the question, in August 2011, some 69% of the respondents said that Windows 7 was running on less than 25% of their business systems. However, as of last week that percentage had dropped to 52%.
The results are really not that shocking - I think we all could have predicted that businesses are migrating away from Windows XP at a slightly accelerated rate. The year 2014 is really not that far off anymore.
The more interesting thing is that, with Windows 8 set to release next week, there doesn't seem to be much chance that enterprises just now starting to roll out Windows 7 are going to jump to Windows 8 anytime soon. It may very well be that the real market for Windows 8 is going to be those enterprises running XP that never took the plunge to implement Windows 7 in the first place.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.