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Could Windows 7 end big migrations?

According to Gartner, Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through big corporate-wide migration. The claim, which made a recent issue of Database and Network Journal, suggests that many organisations will also use alternative client computing architectures for standard PCs, and move toward virtualisation and cloud computing in the next five years.

Windows 7 and Juriba

Barry Angell, CTO of Juriba, has responded in the journal, saying: “Gartner is too early writing off future Windows OS migrations in the enterprise. It is highly likely that Windows 7 will not be the last major OS migration in the enterprise.”

Angell points out that Microsoft makes a vast amount of money from selling updated versions of its OS through enterprise licence agreements, and that it will be keen to drive new features and enhancements that require major upgrade, many of which will require application upgrades and re-writes.

“IT departments are used to the ‘boom bust’ cycle when it comes to OS migration. They would need to completely change culture and accept greater ‘business as usual’ expense if they were to manage upgrades incrementally within standard operations,” says Angell.

He adds: “It will take a long time to Windows-based applications to become device and OS agnostic. It is very unlikely that this situation will happen unless large enterprises invest a significant amount over the next five years to make it happen. It’s a difficult business case.”

In any case, Angell claims that many global enterprises are only just entering the planning phase for Windows 7 migration. He argues that some companies are being forced to defer Windows 7 enterprise migrations because of the economy, concluding that they are likely to “run through until the end of 2015, given how slow the uptake has been so far.”

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