Research indicates Windows Server 2008 could flop

Research indicates that Windows Server 2008 could be just as big a flop in the enterprise as Windows Vista. In a survey of 687 IT professionals conducted by Network World, half of them said that they have no plans whatsoever to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 at any time after it launches in February.

This compares to 13 percent that said they would upgrade in the first 12 months after its release; 9 percent that plan to upgrade 13 - 24 months after release: a mere 8% that say they'll roll out Windows Server 2008 after they finish rolling out Vista; and 19% that say they have just begun to think about their plans.

Respondents biggest fear about Windows Server 2008 is that it will break their existing apps. 68% named that as a concern. 65% also fear how expensive an upgrade will be, naming licensing/pricing issues as a concern. Security is an area of uncertainty for 43% and 34% said they felt that Windows Server 2008 offers no compelling new technology. (Note: multiple answers allowed.)

Such judgments about Windows Server 2008 don't come from hearsay. IT professional have had ample time to grab a beta version of Windows Server 2008 and give it a ride in the test lab. As for cost, IT professionals know details about that, too. Earlier this month, too, Microsoft announced pricing for Windows Server 2008 (leaving one to wonder what will be left to announce when the product is formally "launched" in February). Prices will remain more or less the same as they are for the 2003 product.

This isn't the only survey showing a lukewarm attitude toward the new operating system. A less scientific poll by Gartner this week at its Data Center Conference in Las Vegas echoed these results, reports TechTarget.

On the other hand, for those that want to adopt it, new features, particularly Microsoft's NAC, dubbed Network Access Protection, are the draw. NAP was named by 44% as a reason for upgrading. Another reason, for 37%, is that it will be time to buy a new server anyway. Over one-third said that they'll buy it simply because they always stay with the newest technology. One-quarter named Microsoft's upgraded Web server, IIS 7.0, which will be integrated with Windows Server 2008, as a reason to adopt. (Note: multiple answers allowed.)

One feature that may cause IT shops to take another look at deploying the new Windows operating system is its so-called "self-healing" NTFS, which means that IT shops won't have to take servers with terabytes worth of files offline to fix errors. Blogger Patrick Regan also says that features such as Server Core and PowerShell, which ease server management, will be big draws and that IT folks should get to know these better.

But all in all, the general belief, some 90 days prior to the its much ballyhooed debut, is that Windows Server 2008 simply doesn't offer any earth shattering technology.

Here are the details of the Network World survey.

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Windows Server 2008 adoption

More survey results on page 2.

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Windows Server 2008 survey

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