Even IT organizations that are planning to upgrade may have to accelerate their plans. In many businesses, refresh cycles for PCs have been extended due to the recession -- and a substantial percentage of existing equipment is too old to run Windows 7. At Premium Health, for example, some machines are seven years old. "We're trying to get to a five-year refresh cycle," Seay says. And at Axium, the desktop replacement cycle is close to six years. "A lot of our existing hardware wouldn't be worth trying to upgrade," Cointepoix says. To meet the 2014 deadline, he says, he'll have to purchase hardware at a faster rate.
IT organizations have other reasons to delay. Some 65% of survey respondents said they'll wait for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 before proceeding. If SP1 arrives this summer, as Silver predicts, it shouldn't hold up most deployment plans, which are slated to begin in late 2010 or 2011.
Vince Biddlecombe has another reason to wait: Office 2010 , due to arrive this summer. Biddlecombe, chief technology officer at logistics service provider Transplace in Frisco, Texas, says he'll be doing a wholesale replacement of about 500 desktops along with his Windows 7 migration -- but not until Office 2010 ships. "It doesn't seem like a good idea to roll out a whole new bunch of desktops and then turn around and have to do an Office 2010 upgrade," he says. He expects Office 2010 to arrive in June or July and will start rolling out new Windows 7 desktops sometime after that.
While waiting for Office 2010 before deploying Windows 7 kills two birds with one stone, it also makes upgrades a more complicated undertaking, says Silver. And that could stretch out time frames for completing Windows 7 upgrades a bit further for some organizations.
Next: Computerworld 's survey results
Read more about windows in Computerworld's Windows Knowledge Center.