Meanwhile, Silver's and Kleynhans' report also outlines other important issues that may slow corporate adoption of Windows 7.
"Between waiting for vendor support and testing, planning, preparing and piloting, few organizations will be able to begin large-scale production deployments until 12 to 18 months after the RTM, in late 2010 or early 2011" their report says. That could mean a late payday for Microsoft.
In fact, that's significantly later than Microsoft is hoping for -- not exactly the picture of explosive enterprise sales right out of the chute, although shops with a preponderance of Windows XP machines may move earlier and thus help fuel early purchase orders.
"With more than half of organizations planning to skip Vista, most organizations will have to move to Windows 7 to maintain a supportable environment as Windows XP ages. We advise organizations to move off of Windows XP by the end of 2012 to avoid application support problems, even though Microsoft will support Windows XP into April 2014."
Silver's and Kleynhans' report highlights some reasons for economic optimism.
"Consumers and small and midsize businesses are more likely to run what ships on new PCs, so they will be early adopters of Windows 7," the report says.
Meantime, another analyst agrees there's a lot of pent up demand among consumers and small businesses, but he cautions that nothing is ever really simple.
"This is a complicated subject because it takes a lot of planning and you're investing in deciding whether or not to roll out an operating system," Michael Cherry, lead analyst for operating systems at Directions on Microsoft, told InternetNews.com.
"Every organization is going to be different [and it's] a time when businesses are sitting on their wallets," Cherry added.
So what other advice do Silver and Kleynhans have to offer?
"Organizations that have not prepared to deploy Vista [should] skip Vista and target Windows 7," the report says. Their rationale is that preparing to deploy Vista will require the same amount of effort as preparing to deploy Windows 7. Why do it twice?
"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."
However, Silver and Kleynhans also have recommendations for organizations that are already in the midst of deploying Vista.
"Continue with Vista, but plan to switch to Windows 7 in late 2010 or early 2011, especially if you're switching to Vista through a hardware refresh," they said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft officials said this week that public testing of the "Release Candidate" (RC) of Windows 7 has been going so smoothly, they expect the system to be "Released to Manufacturing" (RTM) within the next three months.
In fact, Monday during his opening keynote at Microsoft's TechEd 2009 technical developers conference in Los Angeles, senior vice president of Windows Bill Veghte said that the company is now sure it can deliver Windows 7 in time for the holiday sales season. However, he also added his own advice to the mix.
"If you're just starting your testing of Vista, with the release candidate and the quality of that offering, I would switch over and do your testing on the release candidate, and use that going forward," Veghte said.
Senior editor Andy Patrizio contributed to this report. . Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.