It might seem surprising how slowly many companies upgrade their OS, but if you think about all of the planning that must go into it, it makes sense. Windows 8 is coming out later this year, and many businesses have not even deployed Windows 7 yet. This is definitely something that business owners should consider doing soon as Microsoft has said they will no longer provide formal support for Windows XP after April 2014. So, if businesses that want to be able to access that support, they will need to begin the deployment process in the near future.

Analyze hardware and compatibility

Business IT departments or Manage Service Providers will first need to assess the hardware's capability to run Windows 7. One of the ways businesses can do this is by using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 7.0 to execute an assessment of their current equipment. Manage Service Providers will need to determine if a company's applications will work with Windows 7.

What OS images to deploy

Businesses should decide if they should deploy just the Windows 7 operating system and install applications later, deploy the operating system and all apps at the same time, or take a combination technique, deploying the operating system and the most important applications that are required by all users. Those who take the latter approach can then deploy other applications in the future as needed. This is a recommend route as it is the fastest type of Windows 7 deployment.

Choosing the right image deployment tool

Once these things have been done, the last step in the process is for your MSP to choose which tool they want to use. There are numerous tools a company can use to deploy the Windows 7 image. A couple being: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or 2012. All of these tools have different advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into account.

Upgrading to Windows 7, then, is a process that takes meticulous planning. Fortunately, those businesses who use MSPs or their IT departments to plan their deployment will increase their chances of a stress-free deployment.


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