Forrester Research is recommending that businesses using the Windows XP operating system get ready to make the move to Windows 7.
Unlike the ill-fated Vista platform, Windows 7 is gaining traction. While Windows XP still accounts for 75% of the commercial market in North America and Europe, Forrester researchers Benjamin Gray and Christian Kane found that IT managers are deploying Windows 7 on 31% of new PCs today, a number they expect to jump to 83% within a year.
Gray and Kane recommend that IT shops accelerate application compatibility testing with an eye toward Windows 7 adoption by the end of 2012, noting Microsoft's plans to end support of both Vista and the latest version of XP by then.
Despite the challenges, there are benefits, Forrester said.
"This desktop transformation involves more than just a simple hardware refresh and operating system upgrade. It also entails empowering the workforce with more modern browsers, Office suite and productivity applications, connectivity options and security controls," the Forrester analysts said.