Windows 7 - Business Value?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Having followed Windows 7 for quiet some time, I have noticed most of the stories being released are all technical in nature. This is expected as Windows 7 was in Beta and in Release Candidate builds and the buzz has been around new features and how the OS is not like Vista. However as Microsoft pushes out the final build (RTM), the buzz will turn to businesses and whether they plan to migrate to Windows 7 or not. As you know, Microsoft core revenue comes from business clients so this post will look at Windows 7 from a business stand point.

The most evident example of the shift from technical to business posts is the
Windows 7 survey released by ScripLogic yesterday, July 13th. This survey suggests that 60% of companies do not have plans to migrate to Windows 7. On that note my Google Reader began to spit these articles out at me:
As one can see all of these articles suggest most businesses plan to skip Windows 7 while none of them provide facts or insight on why. Thankfully Ed Bott from ZDNet provides the other side of the story. Then IT Pro UK posts this story of how Windows 7 sales will help the entire economy! Of course businesses need to upgrade for that to happen!

So apparently we are currently seeing articles with rough estimates and speculation as to what will happen. Unfortunately I will not be able to clear up any of these estimates either; we will just have to wait and see.

On the positive side, Windows 7 has been receiving great reviews and Microsoft has posted a Windows Client Comparison Chart:

This chart finally brings the "business value" discussion to light. Managers and decision makers are going to need to have a good business reason to switch from their current Windows XP systems to Windows 7.

On the negative side, I suspect that in most cases this upgrade will not only be software based but also hardware based as new hardware will most likely be required to run Windows 7 at decent performance. Microsoft still hasn't released the upgrade price from Windows XP to Windows 7 but it is expected to be released by the end of July. Armed with the pricing we will be able to look at what a typical upgrade for small, medium, and large businesses will look like and then compare it to the value obtained by upgrading.

As more upgrade information is revealed, we will be able to make better estimates as to what paths businesses will take. In my opinion, with the current economy the way it is businesses will wait on upgrading to Windows 7. Their current systems with Windows XP work fine with all their current programs and only armed with good business reasons to upgrade we see businesses moving to Windows 7.

Till next time,
Jorge Orchilles


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