A survey [PDF] of 1,142 IT professionals conducted by Dimension Research found 50 per cent of respondents have considered switching to an alternative OS to avoid Vista and Windows 7.
Some 14 per cent of those respondents are already switching to a non-Windows OS, the survey found.
Mac OS is the most likely candidate to be deployed in place of Windows but the percentage of IT professionals considering it as an option is actually slightly down on last year.
The percentage of respondents looking at Red Hat or SUSE Linux for the desktop this year also declined.
But Ubuntu bucked the trend, recording an almost five per cent surge in interest as an alternative to Windows architectures at the desktop.
Despite a raft of positive publicity and technical disclosures by Microsoft, it appears IT professionals are still wary of a Windows 7 upgrade.
Almost 90 per cent are concerned there will be software compatibility issues with Windows 7 and three-quarters are worried about having to upgrade or buy new hardware outright to support the OS.
User training, stability, performance and to a lesser extent security are also seen as key concerns with Windows 7.
But despite the concerns most who are interested will look to upgrade their desktop environments to the new OS in the long run, the survey found.