Ben Large enterprises and small businesses alike are in the throes of making very strategic decisions about their Windows desktop road map. The result of which is that customer optimism is high for new information on the future of Windows. With Windows 7, however, Microsoft is taking a tighter approach to releasing product information which is driven by Steven Sinofsky, the new head of Windows development. This approach stems from a lot of the lessons Microsoft learned from its Windows Vista experiences and we agree that it’s the right approach to take. Let's face it, Microsoft was burned by Windows Vista for promising too much for too diverse a crowd and it's going to be a little more disciplined about when and how it discloses information on Windows 7. So desktop ops professionals have to be more patient moving forward and discount any speculation that is undoubtedly on the way.

Of course Microsoft is still in the midst of development and testing for Windows 7, so it's way too soon to come to any conclusions. And while the touch capabilities that Ballmer and Gates demonstrated at the Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" conference last week were neat, they aren't going to help you with this decision-making process. At the end of the day, this news about Windows 7 becomes just another driver to adopt Windows Vista in the foreseeable future. You may be tempted to hang on with Windows XP (especially given the fact that it will still be available on new machines for at least another year), but this will lead to bigger troubles down the road because Windows 7 will be built on the Windows Vista foundation. Forrester recommends that most companies deploy Windows Vista eventually because Windows 7 is clearly going to be an evolutionary update, not the revolutionary update that many are hoping for. So the challenges that organizations are experiencing with Windows Vista today will also occur with what's coming next, and you're better off preparing for the future now than later.

By Benjamin Gray

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