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Contributing Writer

Windows 7 Onslaught

Jan 29, 20102 mins
Cisco SystemsData and Information SecurityMicrosoft

ESG Research indicates a major desktop OS transition in 2010

For the last few years, I used Windows Vista on my laptop PC and felt like it was pretty good. I guess I was part of a small minority – most organization eschewed Vista and stuck with tried-and-true XP.Now that Windows 7 is out, it appears like the tides have turned. According to ESG Research, 44% of SME (i.e. organizations with less than 1,000 employees) and enterprise (i.e. organizations with more than 1,000 employees) will conduct a signficant upgrade from older versions of Windows to Windows 7 in 2010. By the end of 2011, 60% of large and small organizations will conduct a signficant upgrade to Windows 7. For the purposes of this research, ESG defined the term “significant upgrade” as at least 25% of total PCs. That’s a lot of PCs!These upgrades will take place across the board: small and large companies, vertical industries, etc. Regardless of what you thought about Windows Vista, it is clearly time to move on. ESG believes that the impending massive migration to Windows 7 means:1. A lot of user training. Companies must budget for training and prepare users and business managers for this requirement. Smart companies will refresh use knowledge about security while they have the opportunity. Services and training companies should be very busy.2. Increased utilization of the Windows infrastructure. Windows 7 will open the door to lots of Windows server functionality. Smart CIOs will explore options like Network Access Protection (NAP), server and domain isolation, server core, Active Directory group policies, etc.3. A new opportunity for virtualization technology. Rather than test and rollout applications for Windows 7, large organizations may choose application virtualization technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware instead. The Windows 7 upgrade could also be used as an opportunity to make two changes at once (i.e. Windows 7 and desktop virtualization) or to create a few solid corporate desktop images for future virtualization plans.XP was a great version of Windows but it was first released in 2001 so many organiations are moving on. IT managers and technology vendors should prepare for this inevitability by viewing Windows 7 as invitation to train users, bolster security, take advantage of Windows functionality, and sell complementary products and services.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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