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Second CDW Windows Vista Tracking Poll Reveals That Organizations are Increasingly Confronting, Overcoming Adoption Issues


Eighty-seven percent of organizations have implemented or plan to implement Microsoft Vista; 19 percent are currently implementing

VERNON HILLS, Ill. - CDW Corporation (NASDAQ: CDWC), a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government and education, today released the findings of its Second Windows® Vista™ Tracking Poll. The survey of 753 IT decision makers indicates that use and evaluation of Windows Vista has increased by 8 percent over the previous poll, with 29 percent of respondents indicating that their organizations are currently using or evaluating Windows Vista. Though positive end-user feedback outweighs negative feedback by a two-to-one margin, the second poll also reveals increased concerns regarding performance, patching and hardware requirements.

The First Windows Vista Tracking Poll indicated that 86 percent of IT decision makers expected their organizations to adopt Windows Vista, with 20 percent of organizations deploying the new operating system within the next 12 months. Findings from the second poll track to that adoption rate, with 1 percent of respondents stating that their organizations have completed implementation already, and another 19 percent scheduled to complete implementation within the next 12 months. Six percent of responding organizations are currently implementing Windows Vista with project schedules that extend beyond 12 months, and another 13 percent of responding organizations are not currently implementing, but plan to start in the next year. Including the number of currently unscheduled adoptions, fully 87 percent of responding IT decision makers state that their organizations will adopt Windows Vista.

“The Second CDW Windows Vista Tracking Poll indicates that organizations are confronting and overcoming the barriers to adoption in increasingly complex and diverse computing environments,” said Harry J. Harczak, Jr., executive vice president of CDW Corporation. “Like any major system change, there is a curve for learning and leveraging new features and the new ways to access older features. Maintaining and increasing the pace of adoption will require Microsoft, industry partners and lead adopters to share best practices for implementing Vista smoothly and effectively.”

In addition to data from the second poll, the latest CDW Windows Vista Tracking Poll report includes best practices from CDW Microsoft Engineers on overcoming common implementation issues.

Windows Vista Hardware Requirements
Customer concerns about Windows Vista hardware requirements saw the greatest increase between polls. In the first CDW Microsoft Vista Tracking Poll, concerns about hardware requirements ranked sixth among concerns overall, with 28 percent of respondents citing the issue. In the second wave, hardware concerns jumped nine points to 37 percent and moved to the fourth-highest concern. At the same time, however, concerns about having enough money to migrate dropped from 30 percent in the first poll to 25 percent in the second poll.

Though many organizations are tackling hardware requirements within the confines of their existing asset refresh programs, CDW Microsoft Engineers recommend the following best practices to reduce the impact of hardware requirements on the Windows Vista investment:

* Enable/disable Vista features based upon hardware performance scores to facilitate a phased approach to deployment
* Increase memory with ReadyBoost™, which uses USB devices as an additional RAM resource
* Improve Vista performance by focusing on RAM upgrades before adding other components
* Utilize Vista’s broad configuration options to capture the core benefits that Vista provides without hardware purchases or upgrades

Windows Vista Performance
Improved performance and patching were among the top perceived benefits of Windows Vista in the First CDW Windows Vista Tracking Poll. The second poll indicates that fewer customers believe Vista’s performance and patching capabilities are an improvement, with 56 percent of respondents now citing increased performance as a key benefit (compared to 63 percent in the first poll). Thirty percent of respondents to the second poll cite improved Windows Update as a key benefit (compared to 36 percent in the first survey), while 25 percent mention improved patch management as a benefit in the second poll (down from 31 percent in the initial poll). Of interest, however, no other perceived benefits had statistically significant declines or increases between polls one and two.

To ensure that organizations reap the maximum positive benefits from their Vista investment, CDW Microsoft Engineers recommend the following best practices:

* Optimize the indexing feature by increasing scan depth and frequency, while reducing the scope of each scan to improve search performance and speed
* Significantly increase performance by configuring ReadyBoost, which enhances performance by using a USB device as additional memory
* Enable integrated Windows patching to facilitate increased control over patch cycles
* Utilize offline patching in concert with Windows Server Update Service to manage patching globally rather than locally (i.e., client by client)

The User Experience
Respondents seem to like using Windows Vista, with positive feedback outweighing negative feedback two to one. Of respondents implementing Windows Vista, 26 percent report either strong positive feedback (7 percent) or some positive feedback (19 percent), compared to 13 percent reporting either negative feedback similar to other initiatives (5 percent) or negative user feedback (8 percent). Thirty-four percent report mixed views and 27 percent report no feedback from users.

To improve the user experience, CDW Microsoft Engineers recommend the following best practices:

* Focus on the configuration. Proper configuration of Windows Vista features will substantially enhance the user experience
* Do not try to configure/do everything at once. Vista adds thousands of new features. Pick the features that provide the most value to the business and implement those first
* Utilize Vista’s feature to extend user rights without compromising system security or administrative control. Administrative requirements will be reduced

Walker Information, in collaboration with CDW Corporation, executed the second Windows Vista Tracking Poll between February 10 and February 27, 2007. Seven hundred fifty-three IT decision makers completed the survey, resulting in a margin of error of ±3.5 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. For a complete copy of the survey report, please visit For more information on Microsoft Windows Vista, please visit


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