2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited
July 22, 2009
Plan Now For Licensing Windows 7
For Infrastructure & Operations Professionals
R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S
Consider your uPgrade timeline and dePloyment requirements
Planning your Windows 7 licensing strategy is not an exercise done in isolation. Your existing
licenses and volume licensing agreements, the Windows 7 edition you plan on upgrading to
and the timeline, and how SA impacts your deployment all factor into your plans. your historical
approach to refreshing your desktops and laptops combined with the age of your infrastructure
by the time you re ready to start your Windows 7 deployment will impact whether you should
introduce it via a forklift or big bang approach or via the natural rolling refresh cycle.
your license plans should not just be limited to you Windows upgrade strategy. Because of
Microsoft s bundling strategy within their product portfolio, you should also factor in your plans
in other product families like Office, SharePoint, and Exchange. There can be opportunities to take
advantage of bundles that can drive down costs across your Microsoft investments.
Forrester s analysis of more than 85,000 enterprise clients found that Windows XP, while still king, is finally
beginning its long anticipated decline in the corporate PC market. Picking up ground are both Windows Vista,
which now powers approximately 12% of Windows PCs, and Mac OS X, which has ramped up to an
impressive 3.6%. See the July 22, 2009, Corporate PC Operating System Trends, Q3 2008 To Q2 2009 report.
According to Forrester s Q3 2008 hardware survey, Windows Vista is powering almost 10% of PCs within
North American and European enterprises. While this figure might seem unimpressive to IT managers,
when specifically asked about their Windows Vista deployment plans, almost one-third responded that
they have already started their deployments, with another 26% citing plans to start this year or later. But
IT decision-makers don t have an entirely rosy outlook for Windows Vista. We found that 15% plan on
skipping Windows Vista entirely and going straight to Windows 7 after its release. And another 22% still
have no definitive plans for deploying Windows Vista, and 6% simply don t know yet what their plans are.
See the January 30, 2009, Enterprises Warming To Windows Vista report.
Tis means that only security updates are broadly available and nonsecurity hot fixes are only available
through an extended hotfix agreement.
Source: Microsoft Support Lifecycle, Microsoft (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?LN=en-
IT operations professionals need to start preparing for Windows 7 now, and the best way to prepare for it is by
deploying Windows Vista. Short of that, begin testing your applications and hardware for compatibility against
Windows Vista SP1. It will pay off with greater compatibility with Windows 7. Why? Because Windows 7 is
built on the same code base as Windows Vista, and the vast majority of applications that are compatible with
Windows Vista will remain compatible with Windows 7. It s important to note that there will be some low-
level application exceptions, such as client security, imaging, firewall, and networking, but the Release