Don’t Wait for Windows 8, Dump XP by 2012, Start Upgrading to Windows 7 in 2010
Microsoft has already started building Windows 7’s successor, a release referred to as Windows 8, but the company is keeping all details under a tightly closed lid. This is, of course, of no surprise, especially considering that the company is mum on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which, by all accounts, is much closer. Market analysis firm Gartner is telling business customers not to wait for Windows 8, especially if they continue to be running Windows XP.
Gartner is advising customers to start planning for the migration to Windows 7 by the end of 2010. Fact is that, while XP might seem to still have a lot of life left in it, companies need to start upgrading long before extended support will be discontinued in April 2014. This can happen in the context in which planning and testing for the move to Windows 7 starts as soon as possible. According to Gartner, customers still leveraging XP need to dump it by 2012.
“In various Gartner polls and surveys, 80 percent of respondents report skipping Windows Vista. With Windows XP getting older and Windows 8 nowhere in sight, organizations need to be planning their migrations to Windows 7,” Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, revealed. “Windows 7 has been getting positive reviews, and many clients report that they have plans to start their production deployments, but there are some that are still undecided about when to start and how quickly to do the migration.”
Business customers but also end users need to understand that it’s not the Windows XP support that’s the problem. Microsoft has committed to offering support for XP through April 2014, and there’s no doubt that the company will do so. However, the software and hardware ecosystem built around Windows hasn’t committed in any way to XP. And, by 2014, more and more developers and manufacturers will no longer support the operating system released in 2001.
“Organizations wanting to do as much of the migration as possible through PC refresh or attrition should begin by deciding on a start date,” Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner, noted. “These organizations should take into account when their ISVs will provide sufficient Windows 7 support for their applications and when they will have enough time to test applications, build images and pilot Windows 7. This will give them their start date.