With the April 8 end date for Windows XP support approaching fast, companies large and small should have begun preparations long ago. According to Microsoft's end of Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 page, the average time to plan and implement an enterprise transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 is between 18 and 32 months. Companies that start planning now might see a new U.S. president elected before they're done.
Unfortunately, WinXP to Win7 is not among the direct upgrade paths for Windows XP. It can be done by going to Vista first, but that only works with certain systems, takes more time than other methods, and supports only 32-bit versions of the source and destination. In other words, if any 64-bit Windows is involved, a clean installation is required. For customers that have waited until the end of support for Windows XP to begin planning their move, the CRN Test Center has documented several ways to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Click Next for a synopsis of options.