Volume 6, Number 20 -- May 21, 2008

Developers Cool to Vista, Evans Study Finds

Published: May 21, 2008

by Alex Woodie

Fewer than one in 10 software developers are writing applications to run on Windows Vista this year, compared to almost 50 percent who are targeting Windows XP, according to the latest survey of North American developers from Evans Data. While Evans predicts 23 percent of programmers will target the new OS in 2009, the slower-than-expected adoption of Vista by users and developers alike weighs heavily on Microsoft and its decisions for XP end-of-life and Windows 7, which is penciled in for 2010.

Microsoft was giddy with joy and anticipation after the first full month of Windows Vista sales to consumers in early 2007 resulted in 20 million copies sold, which more than doubled the introduction of Windows XP back in 2001. "While it's very early in the product lifecycle," said Bill Veghte, then the corporate vice president of the Windows Business division, "we are setting a foundation for Windows Vista to become the fastest-adopted version of Windows ever."

Then, reality set in. In late July 2007, following the first full quarter of Vista availability resulted in lower-than-expected sales of the new operating system, Microsoft was forced to lower Vista sales forecasts for the rest of the year. The culprit? Continued strong sales of Windows XP, which is beginning to be known in Redmond, Washington, as "the operating system that will not go away."

Developers in the United States and Canada have noticed the lack of a mass migration to Vista among consumers and, especially, businesses, and have shaped their development strategies accordingly, according to the latest North American developer's survey from Evan's Data, which publishes the survey every six months.

Just 8 percent of developers currently are targeting Vista with their apps, compared to 49 percent for XP, according to Evan's latest survey. When Evans asked the developers what operating systems they expect to be targeting in 2009, 23 percent said they would support Vista, while 30 percent will target Windows XP.

The survey results show that Vista adoption is "not as great as Microsoft and/or the market had predicted early on," says John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data. "And I think everyone is pretty up-to-speed with all the various reasons."

To recap, Vista was late to market, lacked key features, was incompatible with existing applications, lacked hardware drivers, required considerable hardware resources, and was more expensive than XP. All those factors combined to slow Vista's adoption by customers, which in turn cooled developers' interest in supporting it with their applications, according to Andrews.

In Microsoft's defense, Vista does provide a significant improvement in security over XP. Microsoft made some tough choices in response to an outcry over serious security problems with XP and previous versions, and as a result it locked down the operating system to make it more secure.

Unfortunately, that improved security posture makes it more difficult for developers to write applications for Vista (read: no more kernel-level access and UAC to worry about), and it also causes compatibility problems with older applications. Ironically, the wave of attacks targeting operating system vulnerabilities has largely passed, and today hackers have moved on to target applications. At the same time, Microsoft has provided iterative improvements in Windows XP security, bolstering its status as "good enough" and further eating into Vista's pie.

The slow uptake of Vista and continued strong support for XP among developers were not totally unexpected occurrences, and indeed, they closely track with developer adoption during previous Windows launches, Andrews says. But Vista's marketplace performance clearly hasn't lived up to the early hype.

Microsoft gets paid whether users adopt Vista or XP, so the lack of support for Vista among developers is not a huge concern for Microsoft. And while Windows XP supporters circulate a petition to save XP and attempt to persuade Microsoft to delay ending new retail sales of Windows XP as planned next month, it's extremely doubtful that Microsoft would do anything rash, like give in to XP supporters, extend XP's life, and admit its Vista mistakes.

On the other hand, depending on how quickly Microsoft can deliver the next version of Windows, which Microsoft executives have said could be released as early as 2010, the company could cut its Vista losses and concentrate on building momentum and support for Windows 7. Perhaps by then Microsoft will have found a way to minimize compatibility issues through the use of virtualization, which the company has hinted will be a big part of Windows 7.

In the meantime, the entire Windows juggernaut is slowing as "alternative operating systems" pick up the slack and Windows developers bide their time on Vista, according to Andrews. "It's still a big marketplace, and they have a huge market share," Andrews says of Microsoft. "But at the same time, Linux is growing at a faster rate, and while it's very small, Mac OS continues to nibble away, too."

About 13 percent of North American software developers write for Linux, a number that is expected to increase to 15.5 percent in 2009, which corresponds with a 9 percent annual growth rate, according to Andrews. By contrast, 57 percent of developers today target the Windows client OS, a number that's expected to decrease to 53 percent next year, Andrews says. When Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 are taken into consideration in the forecast, the number jumps to 67 percent.

"So they erode a little bit. It's minor, not huge chunks," Andrews says of Windows' decline. "But you have a lot of companies pushing open source alternatives, and open source is becoming much more mature. You have companies like IBM and others who are really behind Linux."


Message for Windows XP Fans Seeking to Save OS: Get Over It

Microsoft Hits Record Revenues, But Vista Sales Forecast Lowered

Could Windows '7' Provide Virtual Desktop Breakthrough?

All Your IT Dollars Are Belong to Microsoft

Windows Vista Sales Are Hot, Hot, Hot! Microsoft Says

                     Post this story to
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot

Sponsored By

Reduce your risk with SafeData's
Backup and Recovery solution.

Our solution is what you're missing:

· It's a managed service
· We guarantee restore in 10 hours or less
· It's encrypted and off-site
· It's easily installed in one day

Call us today to try it -
we know you'll buy it.
(877) 734.5866 x117

Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

COMMON:  Join us at the annual 2009 conference, April 26 - April 30, in Reno, Nevada
Storage Guardian:  Remote backup services at a special rate of $8/compressed GB/month is the resource for job transitions after age 40



IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

Getting Started with PHP for i5/OS: List Price, $59.95
The System i RPG & RPG IV Tutorial and Lab Exercises: List Price, $59.95
The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Developers' Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $59.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries: List Price, $79.95
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
WebFacing Application Design and Development Guide: List Price, $55.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
The All-Everything Machine: List Price, $29.95
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95

The Four Hundred
The Demographics of i Sales and Shipments

The i Edition of the BladeCenter S Finally Launches

HP More Than Doubles Services Biz with EDS Acquisition

Mad Dog 21/21: Saying No No No

A Word Cloud of IBM Server Brand Names

The Linux Beacon
NYSE Euronext Trades Mainframes and Unix for Linux and X64

Canonical Founder Calls for Synchronized Linux Releases

AMD Ships Low-Power Barcelonas as Two More Execs Exit

New and Updated Barcelona Boxes Debut from Sun

VMware Tweaks Virtualization Stack, Boasts of Greenness and Sales

Four Hundred Stuff
Symantec Combats Phishing with New Services Offering

BCD Slings a New C#-Based GUI with Catapult 7.0

SkyView and Innovatum Formalize Partnership with New Product

Profound Eliminates OLTP Requirement with Web Enablement Software

140 Apps and (Hopefully) Counting for i 6.1

Big Iron
NYSE Euronext Trades Mainframes and Unix for Linux and X64

Top Mainframe Stories From Around the Web

Chats, Webinars, Seminars, Shows, and Other Happenings

Four Hundred Guru
Writing Secure PHP Applications

Use PCOMM Scripts to Execute Remote PC Commands

Admin Alert: Things to Do When Adding Drives to a System

System i PTF Guide
May 17, 2008: Volume 10, Number 20

May 10, 2008: Volume 10, Number 19

May 3, 2008: Volume 10, Number 18

April 26, 2008: Volume 10, Number 17

April 19, 2008: Volume 10, Number 16

April 12, 2008: Volume 10, Number 15

The Unix Guardian
New and Updated Barcelona Boxes Debut from Sun

HP More Than Doubles Services Biz with EDS Acquisition

Java Performance Is OS Agnostic on Power6 Gear

As I See It: Soothing the Savage Programmer

VMware Tweaks Virtualization Stack, Boasts of Greenness and Sales

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar


Danik Consulting
Storage Guardian

Printer Friendly Version

Micro-Hoo is Back On the Table, But In a Different Form

Developers Cool to Vista, Evans Study Finds

Global Sales Save HP's Financial Cookies in the Second Quarter

Symantec Combats Phishing with New Services Offering

Microsoft Heads Aberdeen's List of Top 100 Tech Companies

But Wait, There's More:

Microsoft Ships Windows HPC Server 2008 Beta 2 . . . Force Microsoft to Support ODF, Group Asks EC . . . IDC Cautiously Reaffirms IT Spending Projections for 2008 . . . IBM Announces Improved X64 and Cell Blade Servers . . . Dangerous Times: Ballmer Dodges Eggs, While Gates 'Sued' Over Broken Toe . . .

The Windows Observer


Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at

Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement