In both work and private life moving to Vista becomes a dominating topic. Of course there are reasons to stay on XP and hold on for another 2 years and then move to Windows 7, but should Microsoft release Windows 7 as planned in early 2010, it then still takes at least a year until enterprise users will see it, as from experience, enterprises don’t adopt new operating systems quickly and there is still this myth of waiting for the first service pack, to give Windows 2008 server a boost , it was released initially with service pack 1 included (just kidding here).
Although Microsoft has confirmed to continue support for Windows XP until 2014, I would definitely not recommend to wait moving to a next operating system until that deadline because at some stage both software and hardware vendors will have less interest to provide support for Windows XP, we see this happening today with Windows 2000. Today most hardware vendors don’t provide official support anymore for Windows 2000 and if, only with limited warranty not to mention the fact that in some cases device drivers are not being provided.
As mentioned above, enterprises don’t adopt new operating systems as quickly as private users, considering at least 9 months to 1 year of preparation prior starting deployment, the earliest date enterprise users would see Windows 7 is in 2011. Unless the company decides to do an accelerated big bang migration within a short time frame, it will take at least another 12-24 months until all users have been migrated.
Just imagine in 2012 we are going to deal with 3 “supported” Microsoft operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. In personal environments this might not be so of an issue, but for enterprises I foresee this as a big mess e.g. a scenario to be avoided. Gone will be all the cost savings promised with using the latest OS, as managing 3 different operating systems will cause a significant overhead and will drive up operational complexity.