According to industry analysts at Forrester Research, two-thirds of firms they surveyed have plans to migrate to Windows 7. Forrester believes the time to have this done is by the end of 2012. Support for Windows XP is currently in the “extended support” phase, coming to a close in April, 2014. This was reported by Joanna Safford in the November 20 issue of industry journal Processor.
An interesting side-note here is the fact that despite Microsoft’s release of Windows Vista some two and a half years ago, more than three-fourths of commercial PCs still run WinXP.
The case for making the migration to Win7 by year-end 2012 goes like this: Because firms will have a year and a half to test Win7 between 2012 and the day XP expires in 2014, there should be sufficient time to upgrade hardware and run benchmarks. But during this phase, IT departments will no longer be able to utilize the WinXP “downgrade rights” that are bundled with OEM licenses. So, firms will either have to purchase volume license copies of Windows or dig up existing unused licenses. In other words, WinXP in bulk will be in short supply, making room for Win7 deployment.
By the way, 62% of current Vista users also plan to upgrade, meaning users of Vista as a primary operating system will shrink to about 10% of all users within the next year. XP is projected to drop from 81% to 34%.