Wednesday, February 10, 2010

IE 6.0 Use Plummets in the Enterprise

Like a hot coal fresh from the fire, enterprise IT organizations are dropping Microsoft’s buggy, insecure Internet Explorer 6.0 web browser as fast as they can.

Current data from the exo.repository shows a dramatic spike in IE 8.0 adoption, with over 70% of Windows XP systems – sampled from the’s IT-centric community of nearly 23,000 registered sites – now running Microsoft’s latest web browser. This compares to the less than 10% of XP systems that are still running the aging IE 6.0, and the roughly 20% who are stuck on the in-between version, IE 7.0.

Figure 1 – IE Version Share by Platform

The trend is even more pronounced when the focus shifts to PCs running the newer Windows Vista. Though it ships with IE 7.0 by default, over 80% of sampled Vista systems now sport Microsoft’s latest and greatest. Combined with the aforementioned XP numbers, it points to an aggressive adoption curve for IE 8.0 by enterprise IT organizations, many of whom are fearful of the gaping holes that its older sibling can introduce into their desktop security model.

These numbers also support Microsoft’s assertions that IE 8.0 has been well received by IT as well as usage data from web metrics companies, many of whom are reporting a surge in IE 8.0 traffic on the larger, public Internet and World Wide Web.

Note: The above statistics were generated from the over 6 billion system and process metrics records collected from the nearly 23,000 registered, active users. If you’d like more information about the, including how to reproduce the above chart object on your own site or blog, visit


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Windows 7 Users Embrace 64-bit Computing

The era of the 64-bit Windows desktop has arrived. An analysis of system disclosure data as collected by the exo.repository shows that, in the post-Vista era, the global Windows desktop architecture has shifted heavily in favor 64-bit computing. One out of every two (50%) Windows 7 systems is now running the 64-bit version of the OS. By contrast, less than one in five (19%) of Vista systems sports a 64-bit variant.

64-bits Makes Inroads with Windows 7

Figure 1 – 64-bits Makes Inroads with Windows 7

The above data is significant in that it illustrates just how far the x64 computing architecture has penetrated enterprise IT. Many organizations seem to be hedging against obsolescence by investing in 64-bit systems, which are capable of greater memory expansion and support a wider range of hardware-level security mechanisms. It also shows that calls for Microsoft to abandon 32-bit computing, which were widely considered premature in the Vista era, are now likely to gain real traction within IT circles.

One potential fly in the 64-bit ointment: Netbooks. With most Netbooks sporting Intel’s 32-bit-only Atom processor, any push towards a 64-bit-only future will likely meet resistance from mainstream hardware vendors, many of whom rely heavily on Netbooks for their volume PC business. IT decision makers should keep any eye on Atom-related developments and use Intel’s frequently updated engineering roadmaps as an indicator of when Microsoft may finally put its aging 32-bit Windows code base to rest once and for all.