Many businesses have been reluctant to deploy the new operating system until it has proved its stability and because of a relative lack of compatible applications.
However, with mainstream support for Windows XP set to end on 14 April 2009, large businesses are likely to begin replacing it with Windows Vista in 2008.
Benjamin Gray, an analyst at Forrester Research, said, "Many will move to Windows Vista to avoid past mistakes, or simply because they do not want to go down the path of supporting a system that does not receive security patches on a regular basis."
Business users attempting to run Windows XP after April 2009 may find it difficult to get support for third-party applications and Microsoft's own products.
Forrester predicted that by mid 2008 Windows Vista will be deployed across at least one-quarter of PCs in North American and European businesses.
David Mitchell, principal analyst at Ovum, said, "2008 will be the year Windows Vista goes mainstream." He said that businesses refreshing their PCs this year will deploy the new hardware with Windows Vista.
Migration from XP to Windows Vista will also be driven by greater maturity of the operating system and increasing numbers of Vista-certified applications.
The price of business PCs suitable for running Windows Vista has also fallen, making it more affordable to deploy Vista now than in 2007.
Tube Lines is one company that is planning a major Windows upgrade. The company, which manages the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines on the London Underground is planning to migrate 2500 users from Windows XP onto Windows Vista later this year.
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