Windows 7 Expected To Kill Vista

Researchers at Gartner urge clients to skip Vista altogether if they haven't already deployed the OS.
The arrival of Windows 7 should put the final nail in the coffin for Windows Vista, one of the most disappointing products in software maker Microsoft's recent history.

Windows 7 screen shot
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That's the opinion of researchers at IT consulting group Gartner, who are advising corporate customers who haven't already made the leap from Windows XP to Vista to forgo the latter entirely.

"Microsoft expects to ship Windows 7 in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season. Organizations with a Windows Vista project well underway should stay the course, but most others should target Windows 7," wrote Gartner researchers Michael Silver and Stephanie Kleynhans, in a report released this week.

The researchers said Windows 7 holds a number of useful features for business users. BranchCache allows workers in remote offices to tap information from headquarters more quickly and easily by caching that content on local networks. Another feature, AppLocker, gives IT managers control of which applications users can run.

"Windows 7 includes new features that will attract organizations," the researchers said. They noted, however, that most of the operating system's advanced business features are available only to companies that use Windows 7 Enterprise Edition or Windows 7 Ultimate.

As for Vista, Gartner said that businesses should bypass it entirely if they haven't already installed it.

"Skip Vista and target Windows 7," said Silver and Kleynhans. "Preparing for Vista will require the same amount of effort as preparing for Windows 7, so at this point, targeting Windows 7 would add less than six months to the schedule and would result in a plan that is more politically palatable, better for users, and results in greater longevity," said the researchers.

Only a handful of large enterprises have moved from XP to Vista. Many users complained about Vista's hardware requirements, intrusive security measures, and lack of compatibility with older applications.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).