Sizing Up Your PCs for Windows 7

Michael Vizard

Now that Windows 7 has firmly established a reputation for stability, the pace of adoption is expected to quicken.

Driving much of that adoption will be a refresh of IT budgets with the start of new fiscal 2011 years, which for many companies start in October.

The challenge that many companies will face, however, is figuring out which PCs will need to be completely replaced and which can run of the latest version of the Microsoft's operating system by adding a little more memory and maybe a bigger disk.

Of course, every user wants a new machine. And from an IT perspective, deploying a new machine can present fewer headaches than trying to upgrade an existing one.

But according to Chuck Brown, a product manager with Fiberlink, which provides a service for remotely managing PCs, replacing the entire fleet of PCs is not necessarily the most fiscally responsible thing to do.

Fiberlink's MaaS360 service allows an IT organization to remotely scan PCs to figure out what types of machines are where. Brown says that most IT organizations will find that 20 to 30 percent of installed PCs can run Windows 7. To simplify that process, Fiberlink also has come up with a cost estimator and a list of seven steps an IT organization should follow when migrating to Windows 7.

As Microsoft withdraws support for Windows XP, many IT organizations will find themselves compelled to move to Windows 7. The only real question is how to make that transition as painless as possible.

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