I last wrote about Windows 7 just last week, when I put together a list of pertinent facts about Microsoft's upcoming operating system, in a Windows 7 Cheat Sheet. I realized this week that a couple of important facts were missed, one of which could affect how you might proceed with your SMB's purchasing strategy. As such, I felt obligated to briefly revisit the topic and set the record straight.
Remember when I wrote "New PCs purchased from now onwards will have the option to upgrade to Windows 7 when it is available"? Well, that remains the case. However, what was not so well publicized when Microsoft first disclosed details of the Windows 7 upgrade option program was the fact that it is limited to just 25 PCs or less.
What is the rationale behind such a cap? Michael Silver, vice president and research director at Gartner, thinks he has the answer. Silver wrote "Gartner believes that Microsoft designs these program limitations to persuade organizations to enter Enterprise Agreements, enrol licenses in Software Assurance or purchase upgrades to obtain rights to run Windows 7."
While not exactly sounding the death knell where small and medium-sized businesses are concerned, it is nevertheless an important factor to consider. As such, some SMBs might want to limit any new purchases between now and October 22 to a maximum of 25 workstations.
Another less important piece of information would be that PCs sold with Windows XP after Windows 7 ships will get a free upgrade to Windows 7 - until the release of Windows 7 SP1, anyway. It is not known when SP1 will ship, but it is generally not expected until late 2010, at the earliest.