From The Editor

Choose Your Upgrade

Jeff James

As I write this, Windows 7 has been shipping and available for almost two months. Thanks to an abundance of positive press, pent-up demand for updated computer hardware in the enterprise, and a genuinely solid product offering, Windows 7 seems to have hit the ground running on all 7 cylinders. Some users have experienced upgrade problems and other issues, but my experience with Windows 7 has been favorable so far. I once likened Windows Vista to Windows ME, but Microsoft’s latest client OS has served me pretty well.

But what about you? Windows 7 is undoubtedly one of the most polished Microsoft client OSes to hit the market in years, and sales have been brisk. Yet if you’re a cash-strapped IT pro struggling to squeeze the utmost out of your IT budget, is an upgrade to Windows 7 on your radar? I recently asked members of the TechNet Magazine group on LinkedIn for input on when they might be making the move to Windows 7, and got a variety of responses.

“We are already deployed and loving it! We’re also saving some money using the power saving GPOs [Group Policy Objects],” wrote Joshua Maher, Founder of Seattle Lunch 2.0. “We also have DirectAccess and BranchCache going and it works fairly well.”

Other readers communicated interest in moving to Windows 7, but not in the near future. IS Engineer Dan Lahrman said that "Corporate mapped out a plan for everyone to deploy Windows 7 and Office 2010 over the next couple years … most administrators are already using Windows 7." Network Administrator Wim Noordhoek is also taking a go-slow approach: "Yes, we will take the step to Windows 7, [although] it will not be sooner than 2010. I will build a complete new domain from scratch with [Windows Server 2008 R2] and the latest releases of Exchange and SQL Server."

Microsoft has a veritable avalanche of new and upgraded products hitting the IT market over the next year, so deciding what to spend your hard-earned funds on can be a challenge. What about Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, and a number of other significant product updates? I’d wager that few organizations will have the resources (or the desire) to upgrade all these key products at once.

So what are your upgrade plans? I'd love to hear what (and when) you’re planning to upgrade in your own IT environment, so please drop me an e-mail and let me know what you’re thinking. I’ll select some of the best reader e-mails and repost them in a future TechNet Magazine article, and send you a Redmond Media Group T-shirt for your trouble.

Note: As a reminder, TechNet Magazine print subscribers are also entitled to a free digital subscription to Redmond magazine. You can find out more details of this offer at


Jeff James is editor in chief of TechNet Magazine*, and was formerly the editor in chief of* Windows IT Pro magazine. He’s been writing about computers and technology since 1990.