Microsoft is urging Windows XP business users to carry on migrating to Windows 7 instead of waiting on Windows 8.
The software maker penned a blog post on Monday celebrating 10 years of Windows XP by urging XP users to move to Windows 7. Around 90% of businesses are committed to migrating away from Windows XP and Office 2003 to modern software such as Windows 7 and Office 2010, according to Microsoft. “Windows XP and Office 2003 will no longer be supported after April, 2014 which leaves little time for you to upgrade your PC fleet,” says Microsoft’s Rich Reynolds in a blog post on Monday.
Microsoft cites a Gartner report from September entitled “Don’t change your Windows 7 plans because of Windows 8.” The report suggests it would be dangerous for businesses to attempt to skip Windows 7 and move directly to Windows 8. “Organizations running Windows XP and working on Windows 7 migrations: Continue as planned; do not switch to Windows 8,” says Gartner. The advice follows concerns that businesses will not find the time to upgrade to Windows 8 by the April 2014 cut off point for mainstream support. “So, now is the time to accelerate your Windows 7 Enterprise deployments and consider an Office 2010 deployment at the same time,” says Reynolds. “Moving to Windows 7 and Office 2010 will make your employees more productive and secure today and will get you ready for the future.”
Gartner believes that 42% of all PCs worldwide will run Windows 7 by the end of the year. The company’s research also indicates that 94% of new PCs will ship with Windows 7 in 2011. By the end of 2011, nearly 635 million new PCs worldwide are expected to be shipped with Windows 7. Microsoft recently revealed that it has shipped over 450 million licences of Windows 7. The figures are a testament to the popularity of Microsoft’s latest operating system. Despite the impressive stats, Microsoft is pushing ahead towards Windows 8. The company unveiled its “reimagined” Windows 8 last month. The new interface features a Start Screen with identical styling to the company’s Windows Phone software. Microsoft is planning to allow application developers to create Metro style apps that interact with the Start Screen and operating system. Microsoft’s unique approach will also provide rich and easy integration across applications for developers. Microsoft is expected to make Windows 8 available on ARM and Intel based tablets in mid-2012.