Are you confused by reports that 60 percent of companies plan to skip Windows 7, while at the same time reading that Windows 7 is selling well in the US, UK and Japan and a recent IDC estimate of Windows 7 forecasted sales?  Join the club.

I didn’t think much of the survey of over 1,000 companies by ScriptLogic Corp. which suggested 60 percent of respondents had no plans to deploy Windows 7. Then I read IDC’s estimate of Windows 7 sales:

“IDC is forecasting Windows 7 shipments of 177 million units by the end of 2010. Forty million of those sales will be in 2009, says IDC.”

So I went back to the ScriptLogic results.  It turns out that 34 percent of respondents expect to deploy Windows 7 by the end of 2010 and 5.4 percent expect to deploy by the end of 2009.  It is unclear what percentage of the 60 percent without plans for Windows 7 will adopt a non-Microsoft operating system versus developing adoption plans at a later time.

How does one rationalize the ScriptLogic and IDC results?  While they seem to contradict each other, it’s important to start with the approximately 500 million Windows XP users today.  So, if 34 percent of Windows users do upgrade to Windows 7 by 2010 as the ScriptLogic survey suggests, that represents 170 million licenses.  The fact that this number is so close to IDC’s estimate is downright spooky.  I used to work in market research and did market forecasts for years so I use “spooky” in its scientific connotation.

There you have it, two sources suggesting that Windows 7 will be a failure and a success based on virtually the same data.  Makes me think of the quote: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”