Gartner: No need to wait for Windows 7 SP1

A Gartner analysis report recommends IT departments to depart from the usual SP1 milestone when deciding to deploy Windows 7

"Conventional wisdom has been that organizations need to wait for the first Service Pack to ship before they deploy a new client OS. This used to be a necessity. The availability of beta software to test the new product was not as broad as it is today, and people expected the initial release to be buggy and unstable. The first Service Pack usually would ship approximately nine to 12 months after the initial OS shipment, and would usually represent a marked improvement in stability. Today, SP1 does not represent the milestone it used to"

The analysis states the following reasons to convince the organizations start evaluating Windows 7 now, skipping SP1:

  • Microsoft has changed how it develops its software products. Bugs are tested early because Microsoft uses a Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) procedure, something not done with Windows XP and other earlier Microsoft operating systems
  • Microsoft has "5 times as many" Windows 7 beta testers compared with those who tested the Windows 95 beta, and also automated tools to get user feedback which wasn't the case with Windows 95

Gartner also further states that organizations will not consider deploying Windows 7 immidiately when its released, because of various reasons, such as:
  • ISV Support
  • Browser Issues
  • Internal Preparation

It would atleast take 12 - 18 months for an organization to evaluate and deploy Windows 7 on permises. By that time, Microsoft could release Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. So, Gartner suggests that organizations should consider the initial deployment of Service Pack 1 also.

"Organizations should not expect to deploy Windows 7 until 12 to 18 months after the OS ships. Although SP1 will probably be part of the initial deployment image, organizations won't be waiting for it because other requirements will take longer to resolve. Including SP1 with Windows 7 could result in increased stability because fewer changes need to be introduced to the environment over the life cycle"

In another related news, TechARP has come up with a new revised schedule of Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Program. The Upgrade Program shifts to an early date from June 28, 2009 to June 26, 2009 now.

According to the new schedule, end users who purchase PCs pre-installed with Vista between the dates June 26, 2009 to January 31, 2010 are eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade. According to TechARP, this slight adjustment was done at the request of many OEMs to allow for better sales over the first weekend of the Program.

It is not possible for Windows XP users to upgrade to Windows 7 unlike Windows Vista users. Windows XP users, if they prefer to upgrade to Windows 7 have to do a clean install using the Windows 7 Upgrade media. It is also important to note the upgrade path for Windows Vista users:

  • Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate

If you are looking to upgrade your Windows Vista to Windows 7 beta, you can read our upgrade process overview here

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SP1 Is a Bogus Milestone for OS Readiness in General

I seriously lost interest in reading after this. Bogus milestone? really?

More than five times as many users will run the beta version for Windows 7 as ran the beta for Windows 95.

Windows 95 was 14 years ago. If you compare the number of computer users, the complexity of the OS, hardware, UI enhancements and api changes, 5 times the number of beta testers doesn't really say beta versions are broader and better instrumented.

It might be better than vista, but probably wont be a good idea for the Enterprise market before at least 6-8 months. But like someone said, it will take 6-8 months (or even 12) for the IT dept. to get to a decision :).

I've been beta testing Windows 7 for a few weeks and it is better
then Vista. IMO I don't think it's going to be deployed as fast as
MS would like.

Most large companies have cut their IT work force in half and farmed
it out. So, I really don't think it will be deployed by any major companies.
Right now, I would say a lot of companies have way too much PC hardware
hanging around due to down sizing. Also, deploying and training staff with a
new OS will be costly and most companies don't have IT staff on site like they
did 4 or 5 years ago.

Just my 2 cents on the subject.

True, staff has been downsized all over, but that may be offset somewhat by the new management and deployment tools in Win7. It's a LOT less work to get up and running.

Most companies don't wait for SP1. It may seem so, but that is not usually the case. When a new OS is released, several meetings take place. Then, a round of severe application testing and requirement testing take place. All this repeats as each critical patch is released while evaluating. By the time all that is done, SP1 is out and the company is making its final determination of the OS.

Everyones been guessing, but nothing yet official. RC in a few weeks though. If I had to guess I'd say somewhere between Aug and Sept though.

Faisal Islam said,
"June 28, 2009 to June 26, 2009 "

what'z this???

They are moving the date back from sunday june 28 to friday june 26. Makes sense since it gives them one whole more weekend for pc sales.

Faisal Islam said,
"June 28, 2009 to June 26, 2009 "

what'z this???


Those are what we call dates.

The 28th is a Sunday. 26th is a Friday.

Microsoft has changed how it develops its software products. Bugs are tested early because Microsoft uses a Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) procedure, something not done with Windows XP and other earlier Microsoft operating systems


so Vista was the first OS to use this procedure - not a good omen - lol - but I'm sure most IT departments like the SP1 milestone because they don't have to stress for the first year or so...

ShawnB said,
It wasn't disasterous because of bugs or security issues...

I guess the laggyness and slow file transfers don't count as bugs

vista is still unstable compared to properly installed and configured xp. Another thing is the fading in/out collapsing/expanding icons in the folder tree which is awful.

pjak said,
so Vista was the first OS to use this procedure - not a good omen - lol - but I'm sure most IT departments like the SP1 milestone because they don't have to stress for the first year or so... ;)


Actually Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 were the first big products released using this development process.

pjak said,
so Vista was the first OS to use this procedure - not a good omen - lol - but I'm sure most IT departments like the SP1 milestone because they don't have to stress for the first year or so... ;)

SDL is about security. And Vista has done very well in that area.

neoraptor said,
vista is still unstable compared to properly installed and configured xp.


I'm using Vista on 2 machines (a 1-year-old HP laptop and my 4-year-old home-built desktop) and I have no stability issues at all. No crashes, no bluescreens, nothing. Could you please explain to me how XP could be more stable than that?

neoraptor said,
vista is still unstable compared to properly installed and configured xp. Another thing is the fading in/out collapsing/expanding icons in the folder tree which is awful.

Not this again. Enough of the Vista bashing please, Vista is a damn solid OS now and most of it's niggling issues have since been fixed. If you don't like Vista and prefer your aging OS, fair enough but stop spreading FUD about Vista.

neoraptor said,
vista is still unstable compared to properly installed and configured xp.

A properly installed and configured XP is still an unsecure pile of garbage.

Only 5 times as many beta testers than 14 years ago? I think thats not very clear...

Surely it means 5 times as many INTERNAL testers than W95. What about all the public testing?

Probably five times as many *registered* testers.
If you were to count all those testing the builds that leak, it would be many many times that. However, Vista RC1 (public release) had over 6 million public testers, the largest test group ever.
Plus if Win95 was tested by say, 1m people... any number times it is hard to do.