6/25/2009 11:22 AM
Microsoft this past week released its upgrade and migration strategy. There is good news and bad. The good news is upgrading from Vista to Windows 7** will be fairly easy. **for supported configurations. The bad news is that upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is a no-op, you'll have to migrate to a fresh install. What this means is that you'll install a fresh version of Windows 7 and use a downloaded utility (User State Migration Tool) which will migrate you data and settings. The unfortunate aspect of this is that you'll need to do a fresh install of all your applications.
As anyone that's been through a migration knows the most time consuming part is reinstalling all the applications. For a small to medium size business with a suite of applications this could mean anywhere from a quarter of you day to a full day just installing applications, device drivers and testing before migrating settings and data.
Having been through a partial upgrade from XP to Vista on several of my systems, I decided to wait as many peripherals were not supported in Vista. The result of this is that I've had to rethink my upgrade policy for my network. Now rather than a simple sure I'll buy Windows 7 upgrade, I'll most likely wait till the hardware or applications require Windows 7. I expect many other firms will go through the same logic too.
The natural result of this will be that Microsoft will have to push hard on ISVs to create Windows 7 only versions to create a demand strong enough to go through the pain. Something they've not been too successful in doing in the past.
As such the pent up demand for Windows 7 may dissipate fairly quickly as XP owners decide to continue to hold off until the wheels fall of their systems. This suggests that second quarter results for Microsoft may be below expectations. Redmond may be a more gloomy place than usual in January.