By Jay Kozie and Stan Rabin
Should an upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 7 be on the list of New Year's resolutions at your law firm? With the rollout of Microsoft's new operating system, it's time to think about whether your current version of Windows will meet your firm's needs or if it is time to invest in an upgrade.
For firms running either Microsoft's previous system, Vista, or the older platform, Windows XP, the question will be when, not if, they upgrade to Windows 7. Since Windows 7 was rolled out in 2009, we have found that it offers a very stable platform. To make the right decision for your firm, you should balance several variables. Check with vendors of the applications you use to determine if they are compatible with Windows 7. Expect that your applications will require some updating (i.e. newer versions) in order to be compatible. You should also consider when you will be replacing workstations, since that may be the logical start of the transition to Windows 7. If you want to use existing workstations with Windows 7, Microsoft offers a "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor" tool on its Web site that will help decide if your current PCs will work, or if Windows 7 should be combined with workstation replacements.