The IT press loves surveys; it always has. We can stretch a survey out for miles, what with associated charts and graphs, number crunching, and surmising about what the results might indicate. Mostly, surveys of IT folks on various issues give an idea of the general attitude, the zeitgeist of the moment, out there.
A new Sanford C. Bernstein report on IT departments' attitudes toward and plans for Windows Vista will provide a large pile of grist for the survey mill. The analysts who produced it, seeing a slowdown in adoption and a lack of faith in the product reported by their 372 IT professional respondents, could only recommend as a course of action to Microsoft to:
inform and educate IT professionals involved in the Vista decision in order to reinvigorate enterprise interest in the OS.
Sorry, but that is like telling someone to walk by putting one foot in front of the other. What I'd love to see are the specific recommendations that the respondents might have included in their answers about how Microsoft could communicate with them about adopting the OS to bring benefits outweighing the negatives.
Microsoft has not marketed well enough to sell the product, even to loyal customers. Getting confirmation of that through the filter of an analyst firm is OK, I guess, but both Microsoft and its customers would get closer to their goals if they pored over the raw data/answers, at least in this case.
And sooner, rather than later, maybe Steve Ballmer will consider more directly customer fears about Vista. After all, as Todd Bishop at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, the Bernstein analysts lower their earnings estimate for FY2009 for Microsoft, and lay the blame at the feet of the OS and its failed marketing plan.