From XP straight to Windows 7: doable with planning

There are good reasons for an enterprise to upgrade to Vista and good reasons not to. Fortunately, enterprises really do have that choice, with a bit of extra planning -- despite the much publicized retirement of XP from the retail channel. Microsoft is planning to ship Windows 7 around January 2010, according to a letter company senior vice president Bill Veghte sent to Microsoft customers Tuesday, reports Network World.

In the meantime, enterprise customers who buy PCs up until January, 2009, can get the option to swap out Vista for XP Professional from many major PC manufacturers. That really leaves about a year -- 2009 -- where corporations who refresh their PCs may not be able to get XP. If, by 2009, Vista still isn't up to snuff for an enterprises's needs, there are hoards of other options including desktop virtualization and competing operating systems.

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