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Migrating from XP to Windows 7: When, why and how?

I’ve recently spoken with a lot of IT managers about Windows 7 in preparation for upcoming coverage. Overall, everyone wants to know when they should migrate from XP to Windows 7 and why they would want to. In fact, I’m quite curious, too.

For the most part, midmarket IT shops currently running XP are in no rush to upgrade to Windows 7. The clean-install process and the associated upgrade costs are among the reasons. Plus, in most IT shops, XP SP3 is a solid operating system.

How much will maintaining the system actually end up costing you? Concerns include Microsoft putting all of its resources behind Vista and Windows 7, grappling with known XP security flaws, losing application developers who will design for XP and Microsoft ending extended security support in April 2014. These hang-ups are proving difficult to ignore.

And Windows 7 is a big step up. It’s fast, compatible with today’s hardware and software and optimized for solid-state drive hardware and multi-core processors. But I’m interested in what IT managers are most interested in — and what would entice them to take the plunge in the near future.

But that raises the next question: When is the right time to migrate? Are you building your upgrade strategy around your hardware refresh cycle? It sounds good in theory — during hardware upgrades, just move to Windows 7. But, the end-user training would be disruptive, and how often do midmarket organizations do a big-bang companywide PC refresh, anyway? Not that often. Businesses are holding onto machines for longer periods of time, replacing them one by one. If you don’t go all out at once, can you afford to maintain two systems?

Or is everyone waiting to see what Microsoft has in store for the upcoming Windows 7 Service Pack?

Decisions, decisions….

What are some of your thoughts and concerns about the inevitable move away from Windows XP, and how (and when) do you plan on tackling it? Comment here or shoot me an email.

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