The report, written by Gartner analyst Michael Silver, states that most organizations should not skip Windows Vista entirely and should install Vista on new PCs as they are deployed, with the main reason being that ISVs (independent software vendors) don’t support old versions of Windows long enough, or new versions of Windows soon enough.
In general, skipping a version of Windows means deploying the next version very early in its lifecycle. You become an early adopter of an unproven OS, which carries the risk of waiting 12 to 18 months for ISV support, testing applications, building images and piloting before the new OS can actually be deployed, Silver says.
The only companies that may be able to skip Vista entirely are ones doing forklift migrations (updating hardware and OS all at once) and that also don’t plan to deploy Windows 7 until mid-2011, Silver says. This would be 18 months after Microsoft’s stated Windows 7 ship date, the estimated time that Windows 7 will be mature and stable enough to deploy, in Gartner’s view.
But even those companies are somewhat vulnerable to skipping Vista, Silver says, because, "Windows 7 is an unknown entity with unknown features and an uncertain time frame. Skipping Windows Vista doesn’t mean that the work necessary to remediate applications for Windows Vista will be eliminated; much of the same work will be needed to prepare for Windows 7."
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Waiting on Windows 7 to skip Vista does not make sense especially for businesses, since the same kernel will be used which means, any incompatibilities today moving from XP to Vista will also be there when trying to move from XP to 7. The strategy for most enterprise roll outs is to use a proven and tested product, which Vista will further be by 2010, by then the second Service Pack should also be out. I don’t see a mass deployment of Windows 7, its the same case for most versions of Windows in the past.