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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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February 11, 2009 2:12 PM

Microsoft pushing businesses to dump XP now, not wait for Windows 7

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft today urged its business customers currently using Windows XP -- and there are a lot of them -- to consider "the risk of skipping Windows Vista." Deploying Vista now "will make the future transition to Windows 7 easier," Gavriella Schuster, a Microsoft senior director, wrote on a new Windows for your Business Blog.

Of course, with Windows sales in the tank last quarter, Microsoft has every incentive to push Vista, the operating system it has in the market now, rather than Windows 7, due out sometime in the next 12 months.

Schuster's basic argument is that moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista -- on the way to Windows 7 -- will make the jump to 7 much easier.

"[C]ustomers' deployment projects will typically take them 12-18 months of planning and testing before operating system deployments can begin," Schuster wrote. "Application testing and migration readiness typically takes a significant portion of this time."

"We expect deployment and application migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 to be similar in effort to going from Windows XP to Windows Vista. As I mentioned above, there is a great deal of compatibility between both Windows Vista and Windows 7, as we are not introducing any major architectural changes. Our customers who focus efforts in getting their applications to work on Windows Vista will ease future migration to Windows 7 and help accelerate their Windows 7 deployment," she wrote.

What are the risks for companies that hang on to XP and wait for 7?

"You may find your company in situations where applications are no longer supported on Windows XP and not yet supported on Windows 7," Schuster wrote.

For consumers, Microsoft's stance remains that upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 will require a clean install, meaning applications and data will need to be backed up and reinstalled.

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