Now that Windows 7 has been officially released and available, we are often asked if this new operating system should be installed on existing computers and/or on new computers that are being purchased. Based on the debacle with Vista, many organizations are understandably skeptical of another new OS from Microsoft. Prior to the release of Windows 7, our recommendation was that organizations refrain from installing Vista and remain with XP as long as possible.
So far, it seems that Microsoft has gotten it right with Windows 7. The product was quietly in beta testing for many months with a broad range of customers and partners to help ensure that the public launch would not be a repeat of what occurred with Vista. All of the major 3rd party developers seem to have updated their drivers and applications to work with Windows 7 and the performance and security improvements are operating as advertised.
However, we have discovered one of the versions of Symantec Endpoint anti-virus does not play well with Windows 7. As such, we had to reformat drives and reinstall all data and applications with a later version in order for the machine to properly operate. So far, this is the only glitch we have experienced. There may be more, but all indications are that we (and our clients) will not experience anything close to the issues and problems experienced with Vista’s release two years ago.
From the internal testing we have done with several customers, as well as what we have heard from the industry critics and press, most organizations should have very few if any issues migrating to Windows 7.
However, there may not be a compelling business reason to immediately migrate all of your users to Windows 7, but any new machines implemented in your environment should have Windows 7 installed.
After a brief trial period of a couple of months, your organization should migrate all users to the new OS as it typically makes sense to standardize on one desktop operating system. This standardization can help reduce the maintenance and administrative costs associated with managing 2 or 3 different versions.