Microsoft has issued detailed guidance for enterprises considering migration to Windows Vista and Windows 7.
In a new blog post on the company's "Windows for Your Business" blog, Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft's senior director of product management for Windows Client, issued guidance stating Microsoft's views on what enterprises should do in terms of moving to Vista and Windows 7 depending on what platform they currently run and their overall migration goals. Essentially, the company is seeking to dispel confusion customers might have about when to migrate to Windows 7.
"As a first step, we recommend our customers assess their environment to be in a better position to decide what OS they need to deploy," Schuster said. She said customers should take an inventory of how many applications they manage in their current enterprise environment. Then they should talk to their application vendors to find out how long the vendors intend to provide support for their application running in Windows XP and when they plan to support their application running in Windows 7.
"This will help you assess the maximum length of time that you have to move from Windows XP to Windows 7," Schuster said. "Then you should assess the level of application compatibility that your applications have with Windows 7 (we recommend you test your applications against Windows Vista as there will be a high degree of compatibility between Windows 7 and Windows Vista)-this will help you assess how many of your applications will need to be upgraded, remediated or replaced in order to work in your new operating environment."
For users who test their applications against the Windows 7 beta, Schuster said she recommends that, for the mainstream operating system deployment, they later test applications against the RTM (release to manufacturing) release.
In addition, Schuster said customers should assess the hardware compatibility in their environment and what it will be in the 12 to 18 months that it might take to complete the deployment of the new OS.
Whatever the customer plans to do, she said, "the first thing to do is to deploy MDOP [Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack], whether you are moving to Windows 7 or Vista."
Added Schuster, "We recommend you use what you are running today to make the right decision for your business."
For instance, she said: "If you are running Windows 2000 in your environment: Migrate your Windows 2000 PCs to Windows Vista as soon as possible. Extended support for Windows 2000 ends Q2 2010, and as an enterprise customer, you may soon find your business's critical applications are unsupported."
However, "If you are in the process of planning or deploying Windows Vista: Continue your Windows Vista SP1 deployment. If you're really in the early stages or just starting on Windows Vista, plan to test and deploy Windows Vista SP2 (on target to RTM Q2 2009). Moving onto Windows Vista now will allow for an easier transition to Windows 7 in the future due to the high degree of compatibility."