Softchoice Corporation
TSX : SO

Softchoice Corporation

October 15, 2009 10:01 ET

Softchoice Analysis Shows Majority of PCs Able to Run Windows 7

Key Findings:

- 88% of corporate PCs able to support minimum system requirements of Windows 7

- 97% of corporate PCs running operating systems approaching 10 years in age or older

- 5% of corporate PCs running operating systems no longer supported by Microsoft(1)

- 3% of corporate PCs have deployed Windows Vista

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2009) - Softchoice's (TSX:SO) analysis of more than 450,000 corporate PCs has revealed that 88 percent are able to meet the minimum hardware systems requirements to run Windows 7, the latest operating system from Microsoft. This is in sharp contrast to the findings of an earlier Softchoice study which showed that at the time of release only 50 percent of PCs were able to support the minimum system requirements for Windows Vista.

While the high state of readiness bodes well for corporations, the study also found the continued use of much older operating systems, including Windows NT and Windows 2000 - a potential liability in terms of productivity, security risks and increased support costs.

"Since so few organizations made the switch to Vista, over ninety percent of PCs have remained on Windows XP - an operating system about to celebrate its tenth birthday - while close to five percent are running operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports(1)," said Dean Williams, Services Development Manager for Softchoice. "Given the added risks and costs of maintaining aging infrastructure, organizations would be well-advised to begin planning their move to more current technology. The fact that so many organizations are already entitled to do so through Microsoft's Software Assurance should remove cost as a potential barrier."

Softchoice's analysis has also revealed that 65 percent of corporate computers are able to run Windows 7 in its optimal configuration compared to the six percent capable of capitalizing on the advanced features of Windows Vista at the time of release. Of those unable to meet the requirements to support Windows 7 in its optimal configuration, the majority would be able to do so with a basic RAM or hard disc upgrade. Only 5 percent would required outright replacement to run the new Microsoft OS compared to 16 percent for its predecessor.

"We've seen a sea change compared to the landscape in which Vista was introduced," added Mr. Williams. "Organizations have some work to do to shore up a small percentage of their fleet, but the natural PC refresh cycle has more or less eliminated system requirements as a potential stumbling block to deploying Windows 7. The migration question is now about understanding the benefits of switching as well as implementing a plan to minimize any potential deployment headaches.."

The findings are based on actual inventory data collected from more than 450,000 corporate PCs between November 2008 and August 2009. The sample consists of a total of 248 individual organizations representing a wide range of industries from across the United States and Canada, including financial, health care, manufacturing and education.

The data collection was made possible as a result of Softchoice's award-winning IT assessment services. To provide comprehensive IT asset management services, including licensing gap analysis, hardware lifecycle and IT policy management, Softchoice receives detailed IT inventory data from customer environments. A portion of this data was analyzed in aggregate to produce the findings pertaining to Windows 7 readiness among North American organizations.

To read the complete study please visit http://www.softchoice.com/research.

(1) Paid support and security patching for Windows NT 4.0 ended December 31, 2004. With respect to Windows 2000 Professional, Mainstream Support has ended and Extended Support will not be provided past July of 2010. For Windows XP Professional, the Extended Support period will run until April 8, 2014. Only critical security updates will be provided unpaid. Paid support is still available.

About Softchoice

As one of North America's leading providers of technology solutions and services, Softchoice helps businesses and organizations of all sizes to select, acquire and manage their software and hardware technology resources. Softchoice offers a full range of capabilities, including face-to-face consultations and IT asset management services designed to help customers save time, money and risk in IT procurement. Softchoice currently has 886 employees operating from over 40 branch offices located in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the trading symbol "SO." The common shares of Softchoice are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United States.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "expect", "will' and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, change in technology and general market conditions, many of which are set out or incorporated by reference in the Company's latest Annual Information Form. Due to the many risks and uncertainties, Softchoice cannot assure that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.

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