Re: Not that big of a gamble ..
"I haven't seen a single corporation that's upgraded from XP on clients"
Really? you cant get out too much, I would say about 30% I have seen are already mostly Win7 with another 30% in planning.
"and now that everyone's intent on shifting to VM clients"
I have seen more corporate users upgrading to Win 7 than implementing VDI solutions.
"everyone's intent on shifting to VM clients, an 'upgrade' to anything as resource hungry as Win7"
You know its not so bad as you would expect, at least using VMware's optimisation guide for windows 7 average user onjly requires 1GB of memory, this compares with XP recommended of 1GB normal and 512MB Low End.
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/view/Server-Storage-Sizing-Guide-Windows-7-TN.pdf (Page 6 has good overview of requirements)
Re Windows 8. no way any corporate gonna upgrade to this unless Metro can be disabled, we all know it so its Microsoft's choice. Already at this stage most large corporations would have seen Windows 8 beta and made their opinion based on it.
The only business customers who are likely to buy Windows 8 desktop now is SMB customers so it all depends on the revenue generated from that.
Well thats my 2cents anyway, i expect to be stuck with metro which is a real shame as really like all the rest of windows 8 (desktop and server) but Metro will kill it for me :(