Is Windows 7 your last Windows desktop migration?

Microsoft will support Windows 7 until 2020. As mobile devices get more popular, you may not need to do another large-scale Windows desktop migration until then -- or ever again.

CHICAGO -- By the time Microsoft's Windows 7 support expires in 2020, the face of computing may have changed so much that the large-scale Windows desktop migration may be a thing of the past.

Windows 7 is going to be the last time we roll out a mainstream desktop OS.

Jim Moyle,
lead technical consultant, Atlantis Consulting Inc.

Tablet PCs, smartphones and overall changes in work habits have reduced end users' reliance on desktops and laptops, and some organizations have been able to significantly lengthen their PC refresh cycles.

"We can get away with not doing another desktop rollout for the next eight years," said Jim Moyle, lead technical consultant for Atlantis Computing Inc., a London-based desktop virtualization software and solutions provider, during BriForum 2012 here this week.

Most organizations are just now upgrading to Windows 7 and won't rush to upgrade to Windows 8, especially given the questions around its touchscreen support and Metro interface. Plus, Microsoft will support Windows 7 until at least 2020.

"Among the most of us, Windows 7 is going to be the last time we roll out a mainstream desktop OS," Moyle added.

Microsoft released Windows 7 in 2009, but as of November 2011, just 38% of organizations had upgraded, according to TechTarget's 2012 Windows Purchasing Intentions Survey. Of those that hadn't upgraded, 45% were in the process of doing so, but nearly 36% planned to wait at least six months.

Among all desktop operating systems in use among consumers and businesses, Windows XP still has a slight lead over Windows 7, 43.6% to 41.6%, according to NetMarketShare, which tracks OSes among Internet users. Windows XP debuted in 2001, and support doesn't end until 2014.

Say goodbye to PC refreshes, too?

Though mobile devices serve as convenient supplements to PC and laptop use, it's not a good strategy to view smartphones and tablets as replacements for PCs, said Brian Katz, director of mobile engineering at pharmaceutical company Sanofi, based in Bridgewater, N.J.

But, the use of these devices means PCs aren't relied on as much, so the hardware may last longer than ever. Katz said he knows of four major enterprises that have lengthened their PC-refresh cycles from two or three years to four or five years for that very reason.

"That's building your strategy correctly," he said.

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Will Windows 7 be your company's last desktop OS? Why or why not?
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Although Exec's and PA's will most likely go slab based. Backend staff like Accounts and Processing will still require the speed of input and processing power of the Desktop or at least powerful laptops. Slabs simple do not have the screen real estate to support Excel or large format applications.
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We are a technology company and will continue to use desktop OS's for many use cases.
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We've been 100% on Windows 7 for over a year. Our migration to Windows 8 will probably occur as a result of a hardware refresh in 2013 and 2014. The MS Surface Pro tablets may be a cost effective replacement for our current laptops.
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By 2020 cloud will be all pervasive so the need will disapper .
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uj=bnb
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We are an enterprise education establishment. Mobile interfaces and Mobile-centric OS just do not provide the power and flexibility we need.
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I Really hate the new "Metro" interface of Windows 8, so we don't care the new "touch" capablities. We use CAD software and a custom Administration System. We don't care the extra "toys", like desktop virtualization and a "multimedia" capablities.
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Windows 8 leaves much to be desired for a desktop environment
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I type and do a lot of reading. I am also needing strong glasses (I am age 71). Small Smartphone and Ipad lettering font sizes are real eyestrains. I have w7 but will switch to Linux as it preserves my hardware investment.
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Business will still need it.
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It is foolish to think that virtually every app and all personal preferences can be managed off-site in the cloud and users will only need a web-capable device to work. Over time, it will become a balance of both technologies with a Windows based OS underlying it all. That is how Windows made its billions; that it how it will continue to.
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It's actually too soon to tell. At this point we still have some machines running XP. We'll wait and see what happens when windows 8 actually arrives..
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We're just now migrating to Windows 7 and it will be years before we even consider win8.
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We will use virtual machines
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We have moved all applications and data to a Windows HyperV cloud solution. Our current desktop pc's will be replaced with thin clients or RDP capable devices on our next hardware refresh cycle.
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Because we rely heavily on data entry we see a desktop, laptop, or virtual desktop environment as still being needed unless we start using phone processors, ram, and even hard disks, to power docking stations connected to keyboards, mice, and monitors in which case we would be using the OS on the phone. I could see the day that a person's phone can expand to be their tablet, and then also be used to power their laptop interface as well as desktop peripherials. It is hard to imagine though, everyone one day using iOS 13 by 2020.
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it is dream to think a mobile device to be as good as a desktop.
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For the kinds of tasks which we do here we will always need desktop computers or something like them. Microsoft will eventually desupport Windows 7, software and technology will move on and we will all move along with it.
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Eventually mobile phones will morph into machines that can be used for desktop/phone/tablet etc. I envision, a time where one can walk into a workplace and plug their phone into a docking station with monitor and keyboard for full desktop use.
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Windows 7 will be the last desktop roll out because touch can not replace the keyboard equally well or as fast. In the workplace you need something fast and the keyboard does this well, touch does not (sticky, dirty, wet fingers come to mind). Metro?, no way will this replace the desktop as we know it just yet.
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Metro is good for tablet and smartphone, bad not usable for desktop
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windows 8 is just dumb.
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Win7 may well may be the last 'fat' desktop operating system we install, but we will continue to run the PC or the nearest PC equivalent for the next 15+ years ... just like we don't expect mobile phones to replace the desk phone, or the virtual office to replace the real office or, for that matter, the electric car to replace the petrol/diesel car for the vast majority of commuters.
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Virtual machines and cheap dumb network devices make a lot of sense in our manufacturing environment. Furture performance improvements in smart phone and tablet devices in conjunction with desk-based screens and typing/pointing devices will make conventional desk-top PCs redundant in most larger organisations.
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contemplating leaving M$ and going to linux to not worry about anything except for the exchange/outlook/office solution!!
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I can't say that it will be the last. Maybe Linux, but it certainly will not be Windows 8.
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Windows 7 is just perfect for everything.
Missing Windows 8 Start Menu and the Metro interface seems to be a hindrance for desktop computers.
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I'm going to install Windows 8 in a few days here, so I'm guessing this means I have to answer NO to this question.
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All of Our Vendors Programs are going to this Format.
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I think it is worthless. XP was much better. I hate IE 9 most of all. I have problems with this brand new system from the start and honestly believe that Microsoft can not keep it's monopoly forever.
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Maybe not the company, but I retire in 3years and we've benn on Win7 less than one.
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we have iPads but they are cute toys for the directors. They are no replacements for PCs as work tools.

Win7 will be in use for a long time.

Microsoft's product's lifespan will be dictated by the customer, not by MS.

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No because we're in an educational environment where we will always upgrade to keep pace with OS advancements to ensure student knowledge is up to date.
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