Should You Upgrade to Windows 7?

With some companies still hesitating to upgrade to Windows 7, a look at the possible rationale for making the leap to Windows' latest OS.


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Upgrading to Windows 7 offers a number of advantages, yet some businesses continue to delay migrating. Part of that hesitation might be pure inertia – a major upgrade is no small task. That’s especially true if you’re upgrading a dozen (or several hundred) machines.

But if you’ve been running XP so long it’s now tied together with rubber band and string, you might need a nudge. Here then are seven reasons to upgrade to Windows 7 – just in case you need help convincing your colleagues it’s time to schedule the upgrade.


1) The Era of Windows XP Is Ending

There’s no doubt, Windows XP is the most successful operating system in the history of computers. Depending on who’s counting, there are somewhere between 400 to 500 million copies of Windows XP client systems installed, and that’s just counting the non-pirated versions. In the enterprise environment, Windows XP accounts for over 70 percent of the installed Windows operating systems.

However, the popular XP operating system was released to computer makers way back in the summer of 2001, which makes it a true dinosaur in PC years. Not surprisingly, Microsoft is making some moves to wean users from XP.

As you’ll see in this graphic, many companies are making the move to XP. As of this past summer, almost 40 percent of companies reported that migration is underway. An additional 25 percent said that migration would begin in the next six months, which means it’s underway by now. In contrast, you can add-up the companies taking their time: about 7 percent saying 1-2 years, and a hefty 12 percent they have no migration scheduled at all at this point.

As to why, specifically, companies are migrating, you see that the most common main reason -- the yellow bar graph – is that the end of mainstream support for XP is forcing them to.


What are the reasons your organization's client migration project?

Windows 7 upgrade reason

Source: IDC

Mainstream support for XP ended in April 2009, about two years after Vista’s release. In July 2010, Extended support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 was ended. The last gasp of Extended support goes until April of 2014, but that means the clock is ticking.

The problem, of course, is that with the end of traditional support agreements comes the end of security patches. A company that hasn’t migrated to the new OS before the end of Extended support would be leaving itself wide open for an unknown array of security problems.

Given that support is being phased out, some companies are essentially locked down with XP, trying to avoid wide deployment of any new changes or features.

Other reasons for migrating, which we’ll take a look at it, include avoiding client obsolescence, better security, increased user satisfaction, and lower operational costs and/or easier management. You’ll notice that a less common reason, but certainly one that drew positive response, is regulatory compliance; Windows 7 does have a tool that facilitates compliance, which I’ll mention later.

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Tags: Windows, Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows XP, upgrade

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