Most firms ready for a Win 7 upgrade: Is yours?

It seems like many IT departments are starting to let go of Windows XP. Is your organization ready for a new OS?

Unlike Vista, which 80% of businesses skipped entirely, most companies are gearing up for a Windows 7 upgrade. About 72% of organizations plan to switch to the new OS, according to a recent ComputerWorld survey of 285 IT pros.

And they plan on doing it sooner rather than later:

  • 33% of those who plan to upgrade have already started the transition
  • 37% will begin with six months to a year, and
  • 16% will start upgrading within one or two years.

Why are businesses eager to upgrade? Most of them skipped Vista and are ready to replace the aging XP. That was the reason cited by 64% of respondents.

Other benefits cited by IT pros:

  • increased security
  • compatibility with older software through Win 7’s “Windows XP Mode,” and
  • new features that give users easier remote access.

Despite Win 7’s popularity, especially compared to that of Vista, not all businesses are ready to start upgrading — 40% of the survey respondents plan to hang on to XP until Microsoft stops supporting it in April 2014.

One big obstacle to upgrades: hardware compatibility. Many businesses use machines that are fine when running XP, but can’t handle Win 7’s requirements.

If you’re holding off on upgrading, experts recommend cleaning the machines’ registries, deleting unnecessary software and considering smaller hardware upgrades (such as adding RAM) to keep the machines in good shape for the next four years.

If your organization is upgrading, make sure you:

  • review your licensing agreements, and
  • check compatibility with existing systems and applications (try Microsoft’s free Upgrade Advisor).

Is your business upgrading to Win 7? When? Let us know in the comments section below.

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