Business PC Age Highest in a Decade, 74 Percent Running Windows XP

Even as Windows 7 adoption in the business world heats up, Microsoft’s Tammi Reller, Windows team CVP, has dropped some startling numbers that some say show just how poorly Windows Vista did.

At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Reller stated that Microsoft’s internal data indicates that 74 percent of business worldwide still run on Windows XP – an operating system that was released almost a decade ago.  Reller spun this as good news for Microsoft, because he says it gives his company the opportunity to convert these business to Windows 7.

Many in the past have dismissed the decisions of companies like Intel to skip Vista (coincidentally Intel recently adopted Windows 7).  They aptly point out that many businesses only upgrade every other major OS release.  While this is likely true, the numbers indicated that Windows Vista clearly appeared to be the OS that everyone decided to skip, in the business world.

One factor that may be playing a role as well, is the economic challenges of recent years.  On average, Microsoft says that business PCs are 4.4 years old – the highest average age in over a decade.  

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently announced that he believes that Windows 7 can sell 350 million licenses this year.  Reller indicates that many of those licenses may come from businesses looking to at last upgrade, replacing their aging hardware and operating systems.

Ballmer also said his company is “hardcore” into making Windows-driven competitors to the iPad.