Infrastructure Slideshow: Microsoft Windows 7 Migration: 10 Factors to ConsiderBy Don Reisinger | Posted 12-15-2010
According to research firm Gartner, you can expect to pay $1,205—$2,069 per PC to upgrade to Windows 7, depending on your PC environment and how you plan to achieve that goal.
Windows 7 comes with far better encryption that Windows XP. It features the popular BitLocker, which encrypts the full disk. The OS also includes BitLocker to Go, so you can encrypt removable drives—an attractive feature for an increasingly mobile workforce.
Itâs Not Vista
Windows 7 works far more efficiently than its predecessor, delivers much more functionality, and it's reliable. Don't worry about getting caught in a Vista-like pitfall with Microsoft's latest OS.
Windows XP Support End-Date
Microsoft has set the timer on Windows XP, saying that it will end support for the software in 2014. Right now, it would seem prudent to prepare to transition your entire company to Windows 7 by that date.
Consumers Are Embracing It
Windows 7 operates very differently from Windows XP. With 240 million Windows 7 licenses sold, and major vendors selling PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed, you may not face a big learning curve once you deploy in your enterprise.
Legacy Security Programs
Microsoft made several changes to the handling of the Windows 7 kernel to improve security against malicious hackers. This affects the way some legacy security platforms work with the OS. Many third-party security solution vendors have addressed the issue, but you'll be wise to check your security software to be sure it will "play nice" with the new OS.
AppLocker is a Plus
IT staff can control which programs can run on the operating system.
User Account Control
This was one of the most-hated features in Windows Vista, and has staged a comeback in Windows 7. However, Windows 7 offers greater control of this option than its predecessor OS.
Windows XP Mode Support
In Ultimate and Enterprise editions of the software, you can run a full, virtual copy of Windows XP. That means most of your legacy products and applications should work without much trouble on the new OS.
Based on the success Windows 7 has enjoyed to date, it seems highly likely that Microsoft will be supporting it for the foreseeable. Because of that, the onus is now on you to future-proof your company in acknowledgment of that reality.