Windows 7: CIOs are finally preparing to ditch XP

CIO Jury: "We feel it's the most efficient way of resolving both availability and security within our organisation"

CIOs are kicking off their Windows 7 deployment plans as they prepare to finally say farewell to Windows XP, according to's exclusive CIO Jury.

Although more than 100 million Windows 7 licences have already been sold - making it the fastest-selling Windows OS in history according to Microsoft - the majority of organisations have been slow to upgrade.

Most are still wedded to Windows XP according to recent research, which found three-quarters of companies still use XP as their desktop operating system, nearly a decade after the XP operating system was released.

But all of this could soon change: asked whether they are planning to upgrade to Windows 7 before the end of 2011, the CIO Jury voted yes by a margin of 10 to two.

Windows 7

CIOs are planning their move to Windows 7 before support for XP ends
(Photo credit: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic said: "We will be building a full virtual system based on Windows 7 and Exchange 2010. We feel it's the most efficient way of resolving both availability and security within our organisation."

Madhushan Gokool, IT manager at Storm Model Management, added: "We have already taken the leap of faith to Windows 7, and will be shortly finishing our deployment of new PCs with Windows 7 (64 bit). Although there have been a couple of glitches and incompatibilities along the way, it works and seems much more user-friendly, as I have not had many complaints from users thus far. I never used Vista but this looks heaps more reliable [than Vista] from what I read about Vista."

Peter Birley, director of IT and business operations at Browne Jacobson LLP, said: "We are now confident that Windows 7 will be stable enough for an upgrade during 2011. Upgrades are not taken lightly and due to other business priorities we like to stabilise our desktop operating system for a number of years."

Analyst Gartner has recommended that companies should be planning for and testing Windows 7 by the end of this year in order to be rid of XP before the end of 2012. Microsoft's official support for XP doesn't end until April 2014 but Gartner has warned that companies need to address migration to Windows 7 before then to avoid compatibility issues.

Today's CIO Jury was:

  • Florentin Albu, ICT manager, Eumetsat
  • Alan Bawden, IT and operations director, The JM Group
  • Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
  • Peter Birley, director of IT and business operations, Browne Jacobson LLP
  • Jack Cutts, CIO, Nottingham Building Society
  • Steve Gediking, head of IT and facilities, Independent Police Complaints Commission
  • Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
  • Paul Haley, director of IT, University of Aberdeen
  • Neil Harvey, IT director, Sindlesham Court
  • John Keeling, CIO, John Lewis
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • Derrick Wood, CIO, Wood Group Production Facilities

Want to be part of's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to join's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should, then drop us a line at

By Steve Ranger

Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic. An award-winning journalist, Steve writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture, and regularly appears on TV and radio discussing tech issues. Previously he was th...