Microsoft to businesses: Don’t wait for Windows 8

We’ve written before about how some tech experts recommend companies still running Windows XP start upgrading to Windows 7 soon, rather than wait for the next version of the operating system to come out. Apparently, Microsoft feels the same way.

Tech research firm Gartner recently warned businesses that they shouldn’t try to upgrade to the upcoming Windows 8 directly from XP.

The reason: XP’s support runs out in April of 2014, and it’s likely many businesses won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 8 before then. If Windows 8 is released sometime in the middle of 2012 — which is analysts’ best guess right now — organizations will still need to time to plan their upgrades, test for software compatibility and complete the potentially lengthy implementation process.

That means businesses could end up using XP for some time after its support runs out.

Microsoft has supported that position in a recent post on the company’s Windows for your Business Blog, reiterating the support concerns mentioned by Gartner.

Though many businesses will try to keep XP until the last possible moment — and 2014 seems like a long time away — it can take a year or even longer to completely roll out an OS upgrade, so businesses will have to start thinking about it soon.

Also, some early reports suggest Windows 7 may be a better option for organizations than Windows 8. You can read more what Windows 8 will mean for businesses here.