Can Businesses Avoid The Windows 7 Switch?Can Businesses Avoid The Windows 7 Switch?
According to a recent <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/operatingsystems/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218500070">survey</a>, almost 60 percent of businesses say they have no plans to switch to Windows 7. Another 34 percent said they'd be waiting until the first service pack before making the switch. There is, however, another event that may force the hand of businesses -- the sunset of Windows XP.
July 13, 2009
According to a recent survey, almost 60 percent of businesses say they have no plans to switch to Windows 7. Another 34 percent said they'd be waiting until the first service pack before making the switch. There is, however, another event that may force the hand of businesses -- the sunset of Windows XP.Most businesses are still on XP, not Vista. Although Microsoft will be providing security patches for XP until 2014 as part of its standard product lifecycle policy, it will become very difficult to get a new Windows XP license as time goes on. Microsoft has already closed the door on XP for all but netbooks for the consumer market. Business licenses, however, usually have downgrade rights. That is, a business can buy a Windows 7 license but actually install an older version of Windows instead.
Microsoft's current public policy is that once Windows 7 ships, businesses have at most 18 months or until the first service pack, whichever comes first, to downgrade to Windows XP. That would make April 2011 the end of the line for new XP installations at most businesses, although the date could come even sooner. Businesses that really don't want to upgrade to Windows 7 could still exercise downgrade rights to Vista, but that wouldn't make much sense. After all, it's a lot of pain to migrate a company to a new OS so it's not something you want to do very often. Microsoft could chicken out on their deadline and allow businesses to continue to install XP via downgrade rights, of course. The company may have no choice but to acquiesce, given how many of their large corporate customers seem like they will be pressing against this deadline. If Microsoft doesn't change the rules, though, those companies with no plans to switch will need to start making plans soon. When it comes to corporate planning and budgeting, April 2011 isn't that far away.
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