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Symantec Study Looks at Real-World Windows 7 Migrations

On the heels of Microsoft’s recent announcement of higher-than-expected adoption comes a study conducted in August by Symantec of 1360 businesses that had completed a Windows 7 migration. The report examined migration practices and results and includes recommendations to help those planning such a migration.

Although waiting for the first service pack before migrating to a new operating system is often considered conventional wisdom, the survey found that few respondents waited for a specific service pack before migrating. In fact, 71 percent of what the report categorizes as “top-tier companies” upgraded within one year; only 52 percent of “bottom-tier” companies did so.

When asked about how enterprises made the “buy a new PC versus upgrade an existing system” decision, 75 percent said RAM capacity was a somewhat to extremely important consideration, followed by processor speed (74 percent), a PC’s age (73 percent), and budget (71 percent). Slightly more than half (52 percent) of respondents consulted the Windows Experience Index to determine what processor capabilities they’d need.

The migration is being driven by expectations of increased performance (69 percent), improved reliability (59 percent), and an improved user experience (51 percent). Almost two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) set ROI goals for their migration project, and 90 percent of these respondents achieved them.

When it comes to resources, the Windows 7 migration projects required about half of IT’s staff; just over half of respondents (54 percent) reported they automated the process. The top three time-consuming tasks: planning, the upgrade execution itself, and reinstalling applications.

Among the best practices recommended to enterprises yet to migrate to Windows 7 were user training and pilot tests.

Participants came from firms in 16 countries that employed between five to more than 10,000 workers; the median fell between 1000 and 2,499 employees.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 11/09/2010 at 11:53 AM