Why It’s OK to Continue with Windows 7 (For Now)

While many organizations scramble to prepare for the end of Windows XP support, you’re breathing easy.

That’s because your team migrated to Windows 7 long ago. You tested and tweaked mission-critical applications, discussed the transition with stakeholders and users, went forward with the rollout, and called it a day. Good for you. But there’s just one problem: Microsoft’s release of Windows 8. Could it mean yet another time-consuming migration sits poised on the horizon?

Luckily for you, it doesn’t. At least not for now.

While Windows 8 is beginning to make inroads at the enterprise level, there are several reasons why it’s okay to continue with Windows 7 for the time being.

Windows 7 is stable, established, and supported.

Think back eight years—XP was the business standard and anything else was an anachronism. Well, that’s what Windows 7 is today: the standard operating system (OS) for enterprise.

Yes, a new incarnation of Windows is out there, but it’s still very new. Few enterprise-focused independent software vendors (ISVs) currently offer versions of their software for Windows 8. And with touchscreens being all but required for an overall enjoyable experience, a Windows 8 migration calls for hefty hardware investments that many organizations aren’t immediately willing (or able) to make.

For now, Windows 7 is safe. It’s a stable platform that every IT department understands, and Microsoft has vowed to support it until at least 2020. Still, there’s no denying the fact that…

Windows 8 is inevitable.

Yes. Inevitable. In fact, you may have already seen it in the workplace.

As the mobile device market continues to expand, Windows 8 devices will almost certainly penetrate the enterprise environment whether management encourages their use or not. BYOD organizations already “have” Windows 8, and for the rest, it’s only a matter of time.

Does that mean you should go ahead and make Windows 8 the company-standard mobile device? Maybe. If nothing else, it won’t hurt to have IT begin testing it. Many organizations find Windows 8 devices relatively easy to manage and secure, so it’s not a stretch to think your employees could use them alongside the company-issued Windows 7 desktop.

Got legacy applications? Fear not.

If your biggest OS-related worries have to do with legacy apps, old (yet critical) business data, and what migration might entail for those systems, take a deep breath. Relax. Everything will be ok.

A modern terminal emulator can help you streamline connections between aging technologies and new ones—and that’s the case for Windows 7 as well as for Windows 8. In fact, that’s what we do at Attachmate: help you achieve a seamless migration in which all of your systems work together in harmony. No data lost. No host applications modified.

So keep getting cozy with Windows 7 while keeping an eye on developments with Windows 8. And remember that no matter which platform powers your organization, you can continue receiving value from those legacy apps you know so well.

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