Gartner: Migrate from Windows 7 now to avoid XP-like disaster

Six years may seem like a long way away for now, but in the world of Windows updates, it could be a looming cliff for users of Windows 7. Stephen Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner has urged endpoint computing managers and CIOs to begin their migration from Windows 7 now to avoid the problems many faced when migrating from Windows XP.

In a blog post Kleyhans announced: "The end of support for Windows 7 will be January, 2020, assuming there are no changes to its current support life cycle. While this feels like it's a long way off, organizations must start planning now, so they can prevent a recurrence of what happened with Windows XP."

Read more: The great Windows XP migration: What has IT learned?

Windows XP has proved itself to be an incredibly popular operating system and just under 25 per cent of machines still use it. However all good things must come to an end, and recently Microsoft announced that they will no longer support XP. Since then, organisations have been slow to adopt Windows 7 and even slower to install Windows 8.

Kleynhans offers three solutions for organisations to consider; "Deploy Windows 8 on new PCs as they arrive... Skip Windows 8 and plan to deploy a future version of Windows... Deploy Windows 8 on all PCs to eliminate Windows 7."

He warns that although the second option will be most popular, it's unlikely that companies will be able to phase out Windows 7 before support ends.

Read more: Biggest Office 365 Migration Challenges [Video]

Earlier in the post Kleynhans advised that "skipping Windows 8 for most devices makes sense." He also sees "little value" in replacing Windows 8 with Windows 7, "and do not recommend it without a solid business case."