Windows optimize

Poll: What percentage of your enterprise is still running Windows XP?

With Microsoft's earnings report this week, Mark Kaelin thought it might be a good time to assess how far along we are in this slow migration to Windows 7.

This past week Microsoft Corporation gave Wall Street and shareholders its earnings report for the second quarter of 2011. As Larry Dignan reported on ZDNet, the numbers the company reported beat previous estimates by a significant amount.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings of $5.87 billion, or 69 cents a share, on revenue of $17.37 billion, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 58 cents a share on revenue of $17.23 billion.

Delving deeper into the numbers, the driving force behind the increased revenues and profits was enterprise spending. Microsoft is benefiting from increased demand in servers, the corporate PC upgrade cycle, and continuing deployment and upgrade to Office 2010.

So, despite Microsoft's bad reputation and the persistent perception of being an innovation laggard, the company is raking in billions of dollars. Perhaps the drumbeat of naysayers sounding the death knell of Microsoft is premature.

Back in December 2009, I asked TechRepublic members how likely they were to upgrade their systems to Windows 7 and what kind of time frame would be involved. The basic gist of the results indicated that many IT professionals were going to deploy Windows 7 over a two-year period. The caveat was that the deployment would come slowly with the product cycle of existing systems. In other words, Windows 7 would be deployed when old hardware was replaced and not in a massive, all-at-once migration. That was a practical and perfectly understandable response.

With the earnings news of this week, I thought it might be a good time to assess how far along we are in this slow migration to Windows 7.

Based on responses to various poll questions over the past few years, a general consensus has been established: most enterprises are just not going to do massive, all-at-once technology migrations anymore. I am wondering aloud if this method is easier on the IT pros responsible for maintaining enterprise systems or more difficult?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

9 comments
.Martin.
.Martin.

~95% of my company (about 1000 computers) run windows 2000.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

The goobermint is a rusty machine. Each step pained by the constant maintenence required just to oil the joints. Most orgs in the .gov are still testing Windows 7. Example: A ticket comes in with a Win7 question or issue. The response is "Who let that guy use Win7?", "Are we supporting Win7?", "I don't think it's compatible with that application". I constantly have to remind people that M$ has gone to great lengths to create tools like ACT that can evaluate and sometimes fix compatibility issues. Most are reluctant to even take the ticket. Ironically, just yesterday I overheard someone talking about a new application that was licensed for use. I remember hearing "Oh, that application was developed for Win7. It may not be completely compatible with WinXP". This is what it is going to take to get them to move.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Is the current practice of deploying systems changes and upgrades piecemeal, instead of in massive, all-at-once technology migrations, easier or more difficult?

GreatZen
GreatZen

I'm sorry. We retired our last Windows 98 machine (a Slot A Athlon no less) this year, and even I'm in a position to offer you sympathy.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'd rather get experience with it on my desk than on a user's. Familiarity will reduce that reluctance to respond.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Fleet-wide upgrades are like a snake eating a pig. It's a huge project that draws resources away from more routine support activities. Piecemeal upgrades can be done as part of the normal replacement cycle. Field deployment can reveal issues that remain despite testing. Fleet-wide deployment means everyone has these problems and they all have to be fixed at once.. Piecemeal means only a few do; once they're dealt with, there's plenty of time to fix the issue for the next system.

jrbeaman
jrbeaman

We never visited the versions between 98 and XP. We usually wait till the version is more stable and offers advantages. It makes no sense to upgrade if the newer version only offers "it's the latest and greatest" when there is no value in our operation..

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Some things are done this way and maybe that will happen at some point. The fact remains that we have a couple of users running Win7 and the org is so large that the right hand may not know what the left hand is doing.

pgit
pgit

...I zeroed you out, for now. It's always seemed to me smaller tasks are more successful and less disruptive than larger ones.