proper questions for large companies
1) Is your corporate AV, AS, sys log, auditing, and other security software all Win 7 native yet?
2) Is your DR solution win 7 native yet?
3) is your system image and software deployment system Win 7 native yet?
4) do all your web apps work in IE8 or another Win 7 native browser and support Java 1.6 or higher and other key plug-ins?
5) Are you prepared to support Office 2007+ or an equivalent Win 7 productivity package?
6) can your messaging systems, including your VoIP desktop client if you have one, support Win 7?
7) are you up to AD on 2008 yet, including having tested all new associated GPO?
8) you have tested at least 1 system image for all relevent software in your environment, including validating deployment processes, app testing under Win 7, performed a security assessment, and in general proved each custom image needed will operate in all department areas under the new OS.
9) Win 7, and all other apps required on it, are all approved per your corporate architecture standards, and pass corporate audit reules as well as any imposed by your business sector or government regulatory bodies (DISA for example).
10) you have not already migrated to Vista (if you have, moving to Win 7 can likely wait a while...)
11) and likely most importantly, all corporate policies, deployment procedures, DR plans, and desktop procedures have been updated to support Win 7, and you have a training program in place and ready for all end users.
12) you're prepared to operate in a mixed OS environment during an extended rollout (possibly multiple years).
13) you've budgeted for roughtly 5-8 times the physical cost of the workstation itself as part of the rollout (to include additional software, rollout labor, training, increased support times, etc).
14) every application you use supports win 7, or has been upgraded to it or replaced by a different app to do the same thing under 7, including all servers win 7 might connect to in the operation of that application.
15) due to version upgrades likely required for apps, all back end systems have either been upgraded already, or a migration plan is prepared and a tril run has been completed for any data or systems effected by the transition.
16) for each application, you have identified the key effected systems, and have identified each other system effected by the upgrade of one, and come up with a complete rollout plan ensuring upgrades to one department or system do not cascade unnecessarily into upgrade requirements (or break applications) for other areas.
17) if you're a large firm, you've run this plan past Microsoft reps in detail.
If you answer no to any of the above, get cracking on turning it into a yes. Outside of a lab environment, you should not have a single Win 7 machine on your floor until these, and likely many more business specific, questions come back as a YES.
We're just now starting to look at moving from XP to Vista (might go to 7 in the ned and skip vista). We have 15,000 workstations. More than 50 of our internal apps have to be reqritten to support non-IE6 browsers (been in process for more than 2 years), over 300 back end support servers need upgrades or replacements to support deploying, monitoring, managing, and supporting non-XP workstations and the applications that will come with them, and we have not even started the grand complete plan yet. We likely won't have non-XP workstations in here except in sporadic departments until end 2010, and not complete a rollout until end 2011.