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December 1, 2009

Security concerns hinder European businesses’ desktop software upgrades, says Symantec

Two thirds agree negative press coverage influence upgrade decisions

By CBR Staff Writer

Hackers targeting newer desktop software to find vulnerabilities were a major concern for more than a third (35%) of European businesses when considering upgrades, according to a research from Symantec.

The survey showed that European IT decision-makers are more likely to have upgraded their TV package or seat on a plane in the past three years than their business desktop software.

According to the survey, 1,400 respondents who were IT decision-makers in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, said that security concerns are being driven by media coverage of new software launches. Almost two thirds of all European businesses agreed that negative press coverage played a role in influencing their decisions to upgrade.

The survey result showed that one third of businesses in Germany are more likely to upgrade only if it would cause problems, a quarter of Italian businesses would prefer to wait until the majority of the market has upgraded and the technology is proven to be secure while 26% of French businesses would only consider upgrading if it does not slow down computers.

Meanwhile, businesses in the UK take a slightly bullish approach to desktop software upgrades, with 22% of companies saying they like to upgrade in order to stay abreast of current technology. However, a further 21% said they prefer to wait for the technology to be proven, Symantec said.

Over 72% of European businesses are still using the Microsoft Windows XP operating platform, whilst just 15% have upgraded to Vista, due to worries about security and disruption to business.

Robert Mol, principal product marketing manager EMEA at Symantec Endpoint Management and Security, said: “The over-arching learning from this research is that European businesses are nervous about making the move to new software versions. It is interesting to see the cultural differences in where these concerns lie and how far it will delay their investment.

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“A quarter of European businesses (27%) stated they will hold off on upgrading for at least another 12 months. However, German companies are feeling more optimistic, with fewer than one in five (19%) planning to hold off investment.”

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