Poll: Do Companies Use Local or Roaming Profiles for Desktop PCs?

Would it shock you if 35% of all enterprises used roaming profiles on their desktop PCs? Well, that was the average I got when I asked via Twitter. But is that number correct? It might or might not be. It is based on the answers of only ten people, making it hardly statistically relevant. In the resulting discussion that was a topic, too. The obvious next step, suggested by Kimmo Jernstrom, was to ask more people. So here are the poll results.

Poll Results

I was interested in the distribution between local and roaming profiles on corporate desktop computers. I was explicitly referring to traditional desktops only, so no laptops, no Terminal Servers, no virtual desktops (VDI), etc.

I asked to please vote based on personal experiences only, in other words what you know is out there, not what you think there is.

Note: The poll is closed now due to a blog move. Here are the results:

Feel free to comment below. The more opinions, the more interesting this gets.

Twitter Poll and Discussion

Here is the Twitter communication that led to this poll.


@HelgeKlein: Do companies typically use roaming or local user profiles for desktop PC users? What are your experiences? Thanks for a quick reply!


@scotty11x: RT @HelgeKlein: Do companies typically use roaming or local user profiles for desktop PC users?>>> local at most of my customers
@tellmers: @HelgeKlein local user profiles
@JimMoyle: @HelgeKlein roaming almost exclusively
@gilwood_cs: @HelgeKlein roaming profiles: typically its rarely thought through so its developed into a slow and painful mess thats become ‘acceptable’
@timarenz: @HelgeKlein Most of our customers are using local user profiles in their traditional (local) desktop environment.
@ralf_hoffmann: @HelgeKlein meine Erfahrung: 40% nutzen roaming profiles, 20% nutzen Folder redirection, 40% machen lokale profile
@stevegreenberg: @HelgeKlein Our customers mostly use roaming profiles and then local. When we are done they are usually flex or appsense
@KimmoJernstrom: @HelgeKlein Local profiles for Desktops
@Knoerre: @HelgeKlein Many people think that roaming profiles don’t work at all because of the trouble they get without folder redirection…
@shawnbass: @HelgeKlein typically I see local. Sometimes with appdata redir (sadly)

Discussion following the answers:

@HelgeKlein: My question on roaming vs. local user profiles on corporate PCs: I got 10 answers. On average: 65% roaming, 35% local. Thanks everybody! Note: As you may have noticed I confused the numbers: it should have been 65% local and 35% roaming.
@shawnbass: @HelgeKlein I’m really shocked the number of responses to roaming was so high. Was there a demographic difference? US vs EU?
@HelgeKlein: @shawnbass Roaming/local difference between EU/US? Could be, good point. From the answers I got, roaming is mostly used in Europe…
@shawnbass: @HelgeKlein Aha! That’s exactly what I expected to find.
@KimmoJernstrom: @HelgeKlein @shawnbass Hey, there were 10 responses (sic). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics
@JimMoyle: @HelgeKlein @shawnbass Interesting, maybe due to greater pressure on space in EU hotdeking is much more prevalent, hence more roamin
@JimMoyle: RT @KimmoJernstrom: @HelgeKlein @shawnbass Hey, there were 10 responses (sic). Ahhh but you could consider those 10 as a meta study :)
@HelgeKlein: RT @KimmoJernstrom: @shawnbass Hey, there were 10 responses (sic). http://bit.ly/JVjL2 <= I know, statistically not relevant, number too low
@KimmoJernstrom: @HelgeKlein: @shawnbass @JimMoyle. I do believe the numbers match up. Guys, build a web quiz on the topic. This is interesting. Really.
@gilwood_cs: @JimMoyle@HelgeKlein@shawnbass maybe we’ve found root cause for US’s growing obesity prob: US admins not implementing roaming profiles :?

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3 Responses to Poll: Do Companies Use Local or Roaming Profiles for Desktop PCs?

  1. Andrew from Vancouver March 5, 2010 at 08:39 #

    I’m really surprised at the amount of roaming profiles on static desktops that are turning up in the poll.

    I haven’t seen any noteworthy number of roaming profiles since Netware roamed the earth.

  2. Kimmo March 11, 2010 at 17:27 #

    83 votes as of this post. Too bad there isn\\\’t so much discussion. Even for an european I\\\’m shocked at the amount of roaming profile usage as suggested by this poll and the mini twitter poll alike. I think the results are a bit skewed however as the audience is over represented by SBC guys. Rhetorically I ask: Could it be that the field of knowing is the field of applying?


  3. Anteaus March 30, 2010 at 21:34 #

    I avoid roaming profiles if at all possible. Plenty pain for little gain.
    Biggest issue here is that Outlook/Exchange more-or-less mandates them since it’s (stupidly) not a proper network app, and cannot have its settings and data redirected to a share.

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