Easing the pain of upgrading to Windows 7 from XP

Most companies skipped Windows Vista entirely, and many are considering an upgrade to Windows 7 directly from XP. The process will definitely have some roadblocks, but here’s how it can be made easier.

The big problem is that Microsoft doesn’t allow direct upgrades from XP to Win7 — only from Vista to the new OS.

Here are some tips on how to ease the migration:

  1. Upgrade in groups — Performing the migration over a longer period by upgrading certain groups of machines at a time can help minimize the number of help desk calls and user questions that come after moving to a new OS. Also, it can help identify problems so they’re solved before the rest of the machines get the upgrade.
  2. Use the Windows Deployment Kit — While businesses running XP can’t perform direct upgrades, Microsoft does provide several tools that can make the migration easier in the form of its Microsoft Deployment Kit. That includes tools for data migration, user state migration and other key elements.
  3. Consider virtualization projects first — Some companies out there are currently considering both Windows 7 upgrades and desktop virtualization projects. Experts recommend they virtualize first, since it will make the upgrade process significantly less painful.