Windows Vista Lags With Developers

While less than one in 10 developers polled in the spring by Evans Data analysts are building for Windows Vista, half of them are developing software for Windows XP.

Only 8% of software developers in North America are building applications for Microsoft's Windows Vista, lagging far behind the number building for Windows XP, a research firm said Tuesday.

The latest numbers from Evans Data show that developers have yet to commit to Vista, preferring to stay with the older operating systems. While less than one in 10 developers polled in the spring by Evans are building for Vista, half of them are developing software for XP.

Next year, the numbers for Vista are forecast to increase to 24%, but XP is expected to remain the leader at 29%. The other versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2003 and 2008, are predicted to be the target platforms for 14% of developers, and Linux for more than 15%.

"Developers have taken a wait and see approach to Vista", John Andrews, president and chief executive of Evans Data, said in a recent statement. "The new operating system has had more than its share of problems and the desire to move from XP on the Windows platform is still lagging -- that coupled with interest in alternative operating systems is suppressing development activity and that in turn will further erode Vista's acceptance."

Those problems include a user interface that requires some training. In addition, Vista demands more powerful computers than XP, which means a hardware upgrade is often necessary to get the full benefits of Microsoft's latest OS.

Nevertheless, businesses are installing Vista, so developers will surely follow with applications. A recent Gartner report shows that the installed base of Vista among businesses in the first quarter of 2008, more than two years after its release, was 11.5%.

Other findings in the Evans Data survey showed that Microsoft Visual SourceSafe continued to be the most used commercial application lifecycle management software in a still immature and fragmented market, according to the research firm. Adoption of Microsoft's version control software Visual Studio Team System, however, had usage rates behind Subversion, an open source alternative, and IBM's Rational Suite.

The study also found that two-thirds of developers address security issues during the first planning and design stages of a project.

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