Windows 7 may go down in history not only as the most popular commercial Windows operating system to date, but also as the operating system that convinced regular consumers and business users to switch to a 64-bit operating system.
While it may just have been a matter of time (or more aptly, hardware support), Windows 7 has been convincing businesses to make the jump to 64-bit systems, says Greg Lambert, Chief Technical Architect at ChangeBASE AOK. ChangeBASE AOK supports big enterprises in their Windows 7 migrations and the company has been tracking metrics about the new operating system.
Describes Lambert, "Looking back on the extensive research ChangeBASE conducted with senior IT decision-makers ahead of the Windows 7 launch in October 2009, the results showed that more than 65 per cent of organizations hoped to migrate to Windows 7 within 12 months. However, based on our experience since then that number has risen and is more like 80%, with over 50% choosing the 64-bit route."
Just how popular is Windows 7 with businesses? He states, "Windows 7 has brought a multitude of benefits and rejuvenation to the enterprise. For the majority of organizations Windows 7 is their first major OS migration in five years - having been working with old desktops and/or servers, deciding to skip Vista entirely and stay with XP or earlier operating systems. Windows 7 has had a completely unprecedented start in its first six months and from the work we’ve been doing has been well received by IT professionals and users alike."
But why is it so popular? The main factors are the ease of deployment and to management, says Lambert. He states, "We are seeing two big drivers behind the uptake-levels of Windows 7; The first is the ease and speed with which even large-scale migrations can be rolled-out. The second is ability to future proof the management of the application estate once the migration has been completed. Both of these factors have certainly been key in leading to the higher than expected adoption figures in the first six months."
As to 64-bit vs. 32-bit operating systems, Lambert comments, "We have also seen that Windows 7 is driving the wide-scale take-up of 64-bit computing. Many of our customers are worried that they will have application compatibility problems with an upgrade to a 64-bit environment. However after analyzing their application estate they realize these issues can be automatically addressed which means they can opt for the more powerful 64-bit option. This is a win / win situation for both the enterprise and Microsoft."
The hard numbers from Microsoft seem to back up Lambert's claims about how much enthusiasm there is. To date the operating system is selling faster than any operating system in the history of the world. Other studies have shown that businesses are indeed warming to an upgrade. Windows 7 has unquestionably made Microsoft seem somewhat cool again, while actually managing to improve upon the technical features found in Vista.