Only one in eight IT organisations are likely to deploy Vista, the next release of the Windows desktop operating system, in its first year, according to research published last week.
The software update has been plagued by delays, and Microsoft has removed key security functionality, such as the WinFS filing system, in an effort to meet deployment timetables.
The study, by Freeform Dynamics and analyst firm Macehiter Ward-Dutton, highlighted users' concern over software and hardware compatibility with the new system and users' unhappiness about the stability and security of early releases of previous Microsoft operating systems.
The survey polled the views of 4,080 respondents from user organisations and 1,724 from the IT supplier community. It found that many users viewed cost as a significant barrier to migration, with the investment in testing the upgrade outweighing the possible benefits of the new operating system.
Neil Ward-Dutton, partner at Macehiter Ward-Dutton, said, "Even those who might recognise and want to take advantage of the benefits of Vista are likely to be wary of moving too quickly for fear of software and hardware compatibility constraints, bugs and stability problems, and as yet undiscovered security vulnerabilities."
Microsoft was unable to provide a representative to comment on the research.
Compatibility was one of the problems raised by one user who has assessed components of the operating system. The user, a member of the Communications Management Association who has been looking at a beta release of Internet Explorer 7.0 - a major component in Vista - highlighted some of the problems associated with the operating system.
"A lot of software works because Windows is pretty tolerant of errors and omissions. A major tightening up of security will affect this," he said.
"Our software would not work under Internet Explorer 7.0 straight away. This was partly caused by 'bugs', but was also caused by security restrictions being introduced as to how information is presented and collected to stop spoofing and phishing," he said.