IT departments have largely ignored Windows Vista and stuck with Windows XP as the corporate standard. However, Windows 7 has received a warmer response from IT professionals than Vista did, and TechRepublic's CIO Jury is split down the middle on whether to deploy Windows 7.
On July 20, TechRepublic asked its pool of U.S. IT leaders if they planned to begin Windows 7 deployments by the end of 2010. The jury, made up of the first 12 respondents from the 90-member group, was split evenly with six "yes" votes and six "no" votes.
TechRepublic's CIO Jury is based on the original CIO Jury concept developed by Silicon.com, where you can find lively opinions from IT leaders based in the UK.
Our CIO Jury for this issue was:
- Joel C. Robertson, Director of IT, King College
- Brian Stanek, VP of IT, NAMICO
- Kurt Schmidt, IT Director, Capital Credit Union
- Matthew Metcalf, Director of IS, Northwest Exterminating
- David Van Geest, Director of IT, The Orinsi Group
- Ed Sefton, CIO, Commonwealth Financial Network
- Dave Schartel, Director of IT, Home Health Care Management, Inc.
- John Gracyalny, Director of IT, SafeAmerica Credit Union
- Mike Wagner, CIO, Stone & Youngberg
- Edward Beck, VP of IT, Line 6, Inc.
- James Riner, CIO, R and R Images
- Michael Stoyanovich, CIO, BeneSys, Inc
Beyond just the jury members, many of the IT chiefs responded with comments.
Kevin Leypoldt, IS director for Structural Integrity Associates, remarked:
"After struggling with Vista for 6 months, I jumped at the opportunity to try Windows 7 when the beta was released. I have been running 7 for almost 6 months and it has been rock solid (as solid as XP and vastly superior to Vista). Not to mention the inclusion of some very much looked-forward-to management features such as managing power via Group Policy, granular offline files/folder control, software restriction/app locker, not to mention some very nice end user enhancements; wi-fi management upgrade, taskbar overhaul, window snap, user account control, etc."
Chris Zalegowsk, Director of IT at Deka Research, noted:
We have started testing Windows 7 in our current environment but we generally wait 1-2 years before releasing a new OS to production. We do this for a couple of reasons:
1. We run a lot of high-end engineering applications that will not be compatible with Windows 7 come the end of the year.
2. The general public is very good (and vocal) about identifying the flaws of the OS which will force Microsoft to address in their first service pack.
Starting the first of the year we will start obtaining Windows 7 licenses but will continue to install/use Windows XP until we are confident that the OS is ready for our environment.
Below is an additional selection of comments from the IT leaders, divided into the "yes" and "no" groups.
- "We will definitely be using Windows 7 by the end of 2010. With such a mobile workforce, we see a lot of value in the feature sets you get when you combine Windows 7 with Server 2008." (Joshua Grossetti, IT Manager at Triumvirate Environmental)
- "Having completely skipped over Vista, we will slowly bring in Windows 7 in 2010, as mission critical applications are reconfigured to comply with the Win7 standard. You can only hold off for so long and eventually all apps will be made for Win 7. After that, the Cloud? That's the one I'm worried about." (Martin Szalay, Director of IT for FWE)
- "Actually, we've found 7 to be so reliable with great performance, we will begin in the of Fall 2009 and push as fast as our budgets will allow. Some of our IT staff is already using it productively (including me) and any new system purchase we plan to include the Win 7 OS as a standard item." (Edward Beck, VP of IT at Line 6, Inc.)
- "Clearly, as newest hardware comes into the enterprise, Windows 7 will be required. Even now, newest hardware does not support earlier "ghost" methods for imaging new systems. All Microsoft-centric networks will need to get on board. I predict Windows 7 adoption will happen quite quickly." (Donna Trivision, Director of IS at Ursuline College)
- "We are evaluating Windows 7 internally and are very pleased with the initial results. We skipped Vista, but it is looking like Windows 7 will be a viable platform for us going forward." (Chuck Musciano, CIO at Martin Marietta Materials)
- "Even shops that have avoided Vista, like ours, will have to face the necessity to update." (Mitchell Herbert, Director of IT at McCormick Barstow)
- "For most small to medium sized businesses, Windows 7 migration provides no significant strategic or competitive advantage, either immediately or in the near term. Resources are best applied elsewhere. " (Jeff Relkin, Director of IT for Quadel)
- "We will likely reduce our Windows exposure any way possible, but not with the adoption of Apple's OS. Hopefully the Chrome OS will be available by then." (James Riner, CIO, R and R Images)
- "I used to wait until Service Pack 3 before deployment of new Microsoft operating systems. I need at least SP2 before I look at introducing Windows 7." (Jay Rollins, VP of IT at Triliogy Health Services)
- "As it is, no one likes to be on the 'bleeding edge' when it comes to OS upgrades, but I think there will be more fear than usual due to the fiasco around the prior Windows release. I have never upgraded my offices in the first year though." (Rick Treese, CTO at TheMarkets.com)
- "Microsoft has not provided a sufficient business case to justify the cost of migration and the associated application compatibility risks. In short, despite its amazing complexity and importance in computing, the OS is a commoditized function and Microsoft can therefore no longer dictate the upgrade path for capable IT departments." (Mike Wagner, CIO at Stone & Youngberg)
- "With current budget scrutiny and the fact that our current XP deployment works fine, we will wait until after the first wave of adopters work out the initial kinks." (Michael Woodford, Executive Director of IT at USANA Health Sciences)
- "Application support (for key business applications) is still not solid to move forward from XP." (Jeff Focke, Director of IT at Electrical Distributors)
- "Microsoft is killing it's business and open source is starting to look better and better." (Dave Schartel, Director of IT at Home Health Care Management, Inc.)
- "No compelling business reason." (Michael Hanken, VP of IT at Multiquip)
Interestingly, last month Silicon.com asked its CIO Jury of UK IT leaders if they planned to roll out Windows 7 in 2010 and only one said "yes" and eleven said "no."
Would you like to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say in the hottest 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 be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.