Time to start eliminating Windows XP

Most organizations ought to start drawing up designs to eliminate Windows XP and shift workers to Windows 7, Gartner analysts are advising.

About 80% of Gartner clients skipped Windows Vista, and are relying chiefly on the aging Windows XP, the research firm says.
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Windows 8 is “nowhere in sight,” so “most organizations ought to be planning and testing Windows 7 this year,” Gartner says.
Microsoft has pledged to support XP until April 2014, seemingly giving businesses a long lead time to migrate to a newer operating technique. However, by 2012 the new versions of lots of applications won’t support XP, and various independent program vendors will start eliminating XP support, Gartner says.

Planning, testing and piloting a new operating technique takes 12 to 18 months for most companies, so businesses ought to start testing Windows 7 this year.

“Most organizations ought to try to eliminate Windows XP by the finish of 2012,” Gartner says.

One-quarter of respondents to a CDW customer survey earlier this year were already planning to move to Windows 7 within 12 months. But half of the 618 respondents had no designs to migrate and some said they would wait until Microsoft no longer supports their current operating technique before switching.

Still, the early signs for Windows 7 are better than for Windows Vista, which was widely panned by customers.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently admitted that Vista “was not executed well,” but seems optimistic about Windows 7, urging businesses to upgrade now.

Home users are already moving off of Windows XP, and if businesses don’t do the same “most people will ask their boss why the heck they don’t have the stuff they have at home,” Ballmer said over a year ago.

Although Microsoft has struggled in some areas, and lost the title of “world’s most valuable tech firm” Apple, Windows 7 could finish up being a massive success. Already, positive reviews of the new operating technique have helped Microsoft dramatically improve its customer satisfaction scores, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey.