Windows 7 and the Big Bang Theory

Michael Vizard

Beginning in October, a wave of corporations are expected to acquire new PCs running Windows 7.

Since the new fiscal year generally starts either Oct. 1 or Jan. 1, they're expected to then be relatively flush with refreshed IT budgets. And many of these companies are running Windows XP systems that are a little long in the tooth. Now that Windows 7 has proven its stability and generally better user experience, corporations are expected to begin adopting Windows 7 en masse.

But the question that many are beginning to ask is whether the days of the "Big Bang" PC migration are over. It's been more than seven years since the last big migration, to Windows XP, and since then the PC buying behavior of large corporations has changed substantially, said Sam Gross, vice president of global outsourcing solutions for Unisys.

In general, Gross says corporations are not only more open to buying systems running operating systems other than Windows, they are also less inclined to upgrade every system at the same time, instead preferring to take on the challenge one department at a time.

Gross adds that while Windows will continue to dominate the PC landscape in the enterprise, Windows PCs are no longer necessarily the center of the universe, given the ongoing proliferation of mobile computing devices.

In addition, it should be noted that about 20 to 30 percent of existing PC systems in the enterprise are capable of running Windows 7. The challenge is finding where those systems are in the enterprise.

Gross says that Unisys, which has recently expanded its Windows 7 migration service, has no doubt that Windows 7 take root in the enterprise. But the days when companies uniformly upgraded their systems every three years are long gone.

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