Windows 7 upgrades raise several issues for IT solutions providers and their customers.
The main problem is that Microsoft is discouraging direct Windows XP-to-Windows-7 migrations, saying users will encounter fewer problems if they upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7. But most businesses still use XP and don't want to perform Vista migrations. So where does that leave them and the solutions providers that serve them?
This section of the Windows 7 cheat sheet offers advice from users, analysts and solutions providers like yourselves. Use these resources to find out how you and your customers should proceed with Windows 7 migrations and upgrades.
VARs weigh Windows 7 migrations: When Microsoft released the Windows 7 Beta in January, solutions providers were skeptical that Windows XP users would pursue Windows 7 upgrades any time soon. Most blamed Microsoft's upgrade policy -- which says XP users should move to Windows Vista before performing Windows 7 migrations -- and some said the recession would play a role as well.
Windows XP users weigh dwindling support: Some businesses plan to stick with Windows XP and may skip Windows 7 migrations altogether, even though Microsoft is phasing out XP support. Learn why some of your customers may be hesitant about Windows 7 upgrades.
Windows XP is here to stay: Despite all the hype around Windows 7, your Windows XP customers won't have to upgrade their operating system until at least 2014 -- when Microsoft plans to discontinue XP support.
Gartner: Don't try skipping Vista: "Vista" is still a dirty word in IT, but Gartner Research says Windows XP users shouldn't skip it in favor of Windows 7 migrations. Ignoring a Vista upgrade could open your customers up to application compatibility problems and other issues.
Windows 7 upgrade policy: Microsoft has drawn criticism -- and spawned conspiracy theories -- for its decision to not allow direct upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7. Some observers even think the policy is Microsoft's way of punishing XP users for not migrating to Windows Vista. But Microsoft MVP Brien Posey has five reasons why Microsoft's policy isn't that big of a deal.
This was first published in March 2009