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