Forrester collected information from nearly 40 customers for the study. IT managers were most excited about not having to rely on third-party software companies for applications such as encryption, WAN management and VPNs, according to the report.
Forrester considers Windows 7 to be an "evolutionary" advance, rather than a revolutionary change from Windows Vista. Still, the report found praise among the early adopters for Windows 7's advances in usability, security, power management and remote connectivity for enterprise users.
The stumbling block for many organizations migrating to Windows 7 from Windows XP may be application compatibility. Forrester estimated that about two thirds of XP-based apps can't run natively on Windows 7. One solution to that problem is to adopt client virtualization. One in three IT managers consulted for the report used client virtualization to address such migration issues, and that approach may become part of a future IT trend, according to Forrester's report.
Most of the IT managers Forrester Research contacted acquired Windows 7 by buying it preinstalled on new PCs. That approach can avoid potential hardware incompatibility issues, the report indicated. Forrester recommends that IT organizations begin planning for Window 7 deployments in the "late 2010/early 2011 time frame," corresponding to a "major corporate PC refresh cycle."
The report describes moving to Windows 7 as a "no-brainer" for organizations. In contrast to Vista, Forrester considers Windows 7 to be "a solid release from Microsoft."
The report, "Lessons Learned From Windows 7 Early Adopters," published on Feb. 3, can be obtained at Forrester's Web site here.
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