Microsoft Corp. officially launched Windows 7 this week, giving Windows shops that skipped Vista a desktop operating system they will actually want to deploy.
Many IT administrators avoided Vista because of real or perceived issues, so when they bought new machines, they downgraded to XP, said Michael Cherry, an analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based independent analyst firm Directions on Microsoft.
"Now they can buy both the latest hardware and the latest supported OS from Microsoft," Cherry said. "Microsoft had to ship an OS that customers would buy. They have done this [with Windows 7]."
XP shops might delay upgrading because Windows 7 requires a clean install and possibly new hardware, since it requires more CPU power, memory and disk space than XP. Application compatibility won't be an issue the way it was with Vista because Windows 7 includes XP Mode, but XP Mode also requires additional disk space.
Vista shops could be quicker to upgrade to Windows 7 because Microsoft corrected many of the Vista annoyances in Windows 7, and those users have a smooth upgrade path.
Still, most IT pros will take their usual conservative approach to an OS migration. In fact, the majority won't deploy Windows 7 until six months after its release, according to the 2009 Windows Purchasing Intentions Survey conducted by SearchWindowsServer.com. In that survey of over 800 IT professionals, 35% of respondents said they have no immediate plans to move to Windows 7.
IT shops that do move to Windows 7 immediately will have 18 months to downgrade to previous versions of Windows.
Windows 7 features, pricing
When IT administrators are ready to roll out Windows 7, they will gain a number of features tied to Windows Server 2008 R2, which was also released this week. These include BrancheCache, which gives workers at remote branches better access to data, and DirectAccess, which gives clients access to corporate networks without a VPN connection.
Windows 7 also includes enhanced administrative controls, such as BitLocker, which lets administrators encrypt and set policies for removable drives. also In addition, it includes AppLocker, a tool in Windows 7 that lets IT administrators choose which applications can be used by which users and on which machines. It also includes a more robust Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool set.
Windows 7's estimated retail pricing for upgrades is $119.99 for Windows 7 Home Premium, $199.99 for Professional and $219.99 for Ultimate.
Adoption and migration
- Microsoft revises Windows 7 downgrade terms
IT shops have 18 months after Windows 7's launch to downgrade to previous Windows versions.
- Microsoft readies refreshed install tool beta for Windows 7 and server
Microsoft released a second beta of its deployment toolkit for IT administrators looking at Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 adoption.
- Vista shops eye quick path to Windows 7, XP shops likely to resist
Windows enterprises running Microsoft Vista will likely embrace Windows 7 quickly, but IT managers still on XP will stay loyal as long as they can.
- Windows Vista users get little pricing relief on Windows 7
Windows Vista and XP users get the same Software Assurance promo deals for Windows 7. The cost of new hardware is also an issue for some IT pros upgrading to Windows 7.
- Your questions answered: The Windows 7 upgrade quandary
If you have Windows 7 upgrade questions and concerns, you're not alone. Brien Posey weighs in on recently asked questions from SearchEnterpriseDesktop.com readers.
- Hold on to Windows XP at your peril
Enterprises running Windows XP are budget-conscious and will put off Windows 7 upgrades for as long as they can. But running an 8-year-old OS comes at a cost.
- Are you ready to migrate to Windows 7?
Windows 7's features can greatly benefit your organization. Therefore, the question is not if you should upgrade to Microsoft's newest operating system, but when.
- Guide to converting from Windows XP to Windows 7
While Windows 7 won't be difficult for users and administrators familiar with Vista to learn, power users and admins used to Windows XP will find this conversion guide helpful.
- App incompatibilities for Windows 7? No problem
Your Windows XP applications may not be compatible with Windows 7, but there are ways to make them work.
- The Windows Report -- Gearing up for R2 and Windows 7
General availability for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is just around the corner, and while most organizations won't upgrade to both at the same time, there are compelling reasons to run them together. IT author, speaker and consultant Greg Shields discusses some reasons to use the two new operating systems in tandem and shares some of his favorite Windows 2008 R2 features.
Desktop management and support
- Windows 7 improvements driving enterprise adoption
Windows 7 offers new features and improvements intended to entice business users.
- Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2 adds Windows 7 support
If you plan to upgrade to Windows 7 soon, you may want to download Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2009 R2, due out in late October.
- Workstation image management for Windows 7
The Windows Automated Installation Kit has been revised to ease deployments of Windows 7, and it includes a new command-line tool to manage desktop images.
- An introduction to Windows 7's DISM tool
Desktop image management once required multiple Microsoft tools. The Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool in Windows 7 can help with tasks such as adding device drivers.
- How to convert Windows 7 deployment images to VHD files
Microsoft has made it easier to deploy custom desktop images with a feature in Windows Server 2009 R2 that allows you to convert a.WIM file to a virtual hard drive file.
- MDOP for Windows 7 due this month
Microsoft will follow its Windows 7 launch this week with a new version of its Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) that includes an App-V service pack.
- Power management for Windows 7
Windows 7 can help organizations manage their power consumption. Learn how to use power management reports, workstation settings and group policy settings to save energy and money.
Security in Windows 7
- How Windows 7 stands up to security tests
Windows 7 is proving to be faster and more stable than its predecessor, but how does it measure up in security tests?
- Secure Windows XP before a Windows 7 upgrade
Ensure the continued security of your Windows XP systems by setting up Windows security standards, processes and guidelines long before upgrading to Windows 7.
- Tutorial: How to secure Microsoft Windows
This excerpt from Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed dissects Windows 7 security, providing tips on protecting your PC from computer hackers to advice on managing Windows Firewall.
Let us know what you think about this story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.