4 Things To Consider As You Ponder The Choice of XP, Vista or Windows 7Do you remember the 1981 song from the rock group The Clash which could be about Microsoft and Windows XP?
Always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine, next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?On October 16th, 2008, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, responded “If people want to wait [stay with XP] they really can.” This was the first time Microsoft acknowledged the lackluster acceptance of Vista in the business community. According to Microsoft, Vista has been growing faster than XP did after its introduction, but it’s the consumer market leading the charge not businesses. According to the Gartner research group, as of January 2009, only 6% of businesses have at least one computer running Vista.
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know!
Like it or not, we must eventually move away from Windows XP. Microsoft stopped fixing XP bugs on April 14th and will end all support, including security patches, in 2014. Here are four things to consider as you ponder staying with XP, moving to Vista or waiting for Windows 7.
#1 Test your applications and peripherals
There’s a lot of business software that will not run on Vista, especially software written by boutique software companies and consultants. Because Windows 7 is built on the Vista foundation, software and peripherals like printers that don’t work with Vista won’t work with Windows 7 either. Conversely if it does work with Vista it will work on Windows 7. Most vendors anticipate having Vista versions of their software available before the end of 2009. Microsoft expects Windows 7 to be available in early 2010. With Windows 7 looming on the horizon, it may be prudent to skip Vista and go straight to Windows 7. The key here is to communicate with your software and hardware vendors and test everything.
#2 Migrate to Vista or Windows 7 as you purchase new computers
Once you have completed testing, consider staggering your switchover by bringing in Vista on new and replacement computers. Unless you love migraine headaches and wasting money, forget trying to upgrade existing computers more than two years old to Vista. In this uncertain economy, a migration through replacement approach is your least expensive option.
There is a learning curve with the Vista user interface similar to that experienced with MS Office 2007. However, most users like the Vista interface after using it a few weeks, and most of the Vista annoyances have been eliminated in Windows 7 beta versions. If you want to play it ultra safe, purchase your new equipment with Vista Business and select the XP Pro downgrade option. Your new equipment is ready to use out of the box with XP Pro, yet has the hardware, software and licensing necessary to upgrade to Vista when you’re ready.
#3 Skip Vista and migrate directly to Windows 7.
If you don’t plan on replacing your computers this year, consider skipping Vista all together. Most small businesses and many enterprise organizations are pushing out their hardware replacement schedules because of the uncertain economy. Consequently, skipping Vista altogether and jumping straight into Windows 7 is a reasonable alternative. Hey, you even have permission from Microsoft to do this! You can continue purchasing new equipment with the XP Pro downgrade and have complete confidence that this same hardware will support the upgrade to Windows 7. If this is the decision you make, be sure to begin testing with Vista now in preparation for Windows 7.
#4 Microsoft’s history of software releases.
Microsoft considers Windows 7 a major release. Other major releases were Windows 2000 and Vista, both of which were late and in the case of Vista, required the release of Service Pack 1 before it lived up to its hype. Windows XP was considered an evolutionary release, but it too performed poorly until Service Pack 1, then finally lived up to its promise with the Service Pack 2 update. Calling Windows 7 a major release may be more marketing than meat because the kernel (think of this as the guts or foundation of an operating system) is the same as Vista. The good news is that this kernel has come a long way since the initial release of Vista. Windows Server 2008 draws on the Vista kernel and has proven to be a solid server operating system. Windows 7 is in beta release now and gets better with each update. Many in the industry believe that 2010 will be the year of Windows 7, but only time will tell. If you decide to wait for Windows 7, be sure to make a contingency plan that includes Vista knowing that the pain of migration from Vista to Windows 7 will be minimal.
This indecision’s bugging me
If you don’t want me, set me free
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
Come on and let me know
Should I cool it or should I go?Let us know if we can help with this decision!