I’ve just been on the phone to Gartner, which is advising businesses to think about their long-term migration plans from Windows XP to Windows 7. Why now? Windows XP is a stable operating sytsem and businesses are reluctant to upgrade to Vista.
But on April 14, Windows XP moves from standard support to Extended Support. This means that MS will continue to provide security and critical fixes for Windows XP – but if you want anything else – like getting a device driver to work, you will have to pay. That doesn’t seem so bad, but April 14 2009 is a watershed for Windows XP. The clock is ticking from this date, and five years later, on April 14 2014, support for Windows XP will end, unless someone convinces MS to extend support further.
Now businesses have not taken to Windows Vista, which means many people are holding out for Windows 7. Assuming Windows 7 ships this year and it takes about 18 months to test applications, Gartner expects businesses to start rolling out Windows 7 in 2011.
With Windows XP’s support due to end on April 14 2014, large businesses may struggle to migrate in time because a complex deployment of Windows 7 could take up to three years according to Gartner.