Commercial tools not on tap for Windows 7 deployments

Survey shows majority of IT professionals planning to migrate to Windows 7 will not use commercial tools, relying on manual processes and free tools from Microsoft.

A recent survey of 923 IT professionals showed that 87% of those polled plan to deploy Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7. Yet the same survey conducted in January 2010 also revealed that close the three-fourths plan to make the move manually, using free tools such as the ones provided by Microsoft.

Seven tips to manage and migrate Windows 7

Dell Kace Wednesday released the results of the survey conducted by Dimensional Research. The fourth in a series of surveys showed that Windows 7 appealed to a majority of IT pros polled and adoption plans greatly exceeded those of the previous release, Windows Vista. The news is good for Microsoft, but for IT organizations, the manual upgrade plans could be troublesome, according to industry watchers.

"At some point, Windows users will need to transition over to Windows 7 because XP will no longer be supported and Vista just didn't take off in terms of adoption," said Steve Brasen, principal analyst at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), during a previous interview with Network World. "The ability to manage and automate the processes around upgrading to Windows 7 will be critical for midsize and enterprise organizations."

Forrester Research recently speculated that Windows 7 could actually drive the adoption of client management software tools designed to automate the processes of migrating operating systems, distibuting software and applying patches, among other tasks.

“With PC refreshes and Windows 7 just around the corner for most firms, IT pros need client management tools to automate their hardware and operating system upgrades,” Forrester senior analyst Benjamin Gray concludes in a recent presentation. “In order to free up IT resources for more strategic projects, firms will look to systems management tools to automate more support processes.”

Posted by Denise Dubie

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