Windows 7 will be here before you know it. So far, Windows 7 is getting much attention and rave reviews in its Beta version. The improvements from Windows Vista to Windows 7 are exciting and the new features like DirectAccess and JumpLists have many enterprises and users chomping at the bit.
Well, you don’t need to sit by idly waiting. In fact, I recommend that you don’t. Even if the operating system was available tomorrow there is a lot of planning and preparation that has to be done before you can just deploy it on your network. Some of the features require Windows Server 2008, so if you are still using Windows Server 2003 you should start to look at migrating to Windows Server 2008 so you are ready to capitalize on the new Windows 7 features.
Another thing that you can do to prepare is to validate that the applications your business relies on will work in Windows 7. Microsoft has released ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit) 5.5 which you can use to begin verifying your applications for Windows 7. Conducting this exercise now will give you months to work with vendors to update any applications that have issues, or allow you to find other workarounds, or replacement applications that will work with Windows 7. Check out this interview between Stephen Rose and Jeremy Chapman to learn more about the updates and changes in the Application Compatibility Toolkit.