R – From a development perspective: How to convice the bosses to upgrade to Vista / Windows 7?


Our current development environment at work is Windows XP pro. It is a fine operating system, but after using Vista and Windows 7 at home, I find myself wanting to use them at work where I spend majority of my time on a computer.

The problem lies in that Windows XP does the job, and there's 0 cost in moving forward as obviously its already in place and working, whereas Vista / Windows 7 would obviously cost money and time in the short term, but I believe in the long run we'll all be more productive in either a Vista or 7 environment.

So my question is how do I convince the decision makers to upgrade to at least Vista, I understand the service pack 1 rule, and am happy to accommodate that. (i.e. Vista now, 7 later).

Arguments can be from a .Net programmers perspective as we're all developers where I work.

Best Solution

It all depends on the size of your enterprise.

We have more than 10000 workstations to manage, and that is the main reason we are still in XPSP2.

An OS comes with lots of group policy rules, which must be tested.
It also comes with custom software (anti-virus, limitation of the user's profile space, ...) which must be evaluated/upgraded.

In short, moving to a new OS is not a trivial task. The migration/deployment process alone takes month. And it is only one step. All the training of the support team must have been made beforehand.

Now, for a small company, the work involved is still not trivial.

  • licenses need to be updated
  • compatibility or upgrade of all softwares and drivers needs to be ascertained.
  • policies and security needs to be reviewed

All of this makes sense if the behavior of the program you are writing is not too different than the intended target.

If the vast majority of users will use your application on Xp, whereas you are developing on Vista or W7, you may end up detecting issue not one the development phase, but during the homologation or pre-production steps, which makes any fix that much harder to do.

In the end, It is about ROI. What productivity will you gain, and what advantage this new development platform will bring in term of time-to-market for your application ?