For organizations waffling about migrating to Windows 7, especially those still running Windows XP, the clock is ticking.
According to analysts at Gartner, it takes 12–18 months to prep for a client operating system change. That’s a year to a year and a half of application testing, dealing with issues the tests reveal, and overall planning. Then there’s the actual migration which, as administrators know only too well, can take a significant chunk of time in itself.
Plus, since support for Windows Vista RTM (the original release with no service packs applied) has ceased, Windows XP SP2 support will stop in July 2010, and even extended support for Windows XP SP3 will end in April of 2014, the experts agree that the time to move is sooner rather than later.
Mark Tauschek, research director at Info-Tech Research, thinks that Windows XP shops are most at risk. For organizations running Windows Vista (admittedly, he says, a very small percentage) with Service Pack 2, there’s no pressing need to move, and a Windows 7 upgrade could get expensive for them unless they have Enterprise Agreements or Software Assurance that allow them to upgrade for free. However, he says, for Windows XP shops, “While formal end of life (for XP) is April 2014, by 2012 they will run into situations where they can’t find drivers or application updates. They have to think about migrating to Windows 7.” READ MORE