I also agree with Arthur's insight on transitions, We went Vista first as that too had a lot of the features that everyone raves about in 7 but inexplicably hated in Vista. With Vista we waited till after SP1 and it worked well in our environment lowering the time needed to support them. When it came to pushing out 7 it was not a big deal in training or in actual implementation as we had already encountered most of the new things before in a slightly less polished form. Most of the staff did not even notice that the computer suite had changed from Vista to 7.
@Mattx - the difference is that those terminals (I have never encountered any in stores round here) have one very specific and limited set purpose. They are also probably (hopefully) kept far, far away from the internet. The machines we are talking about are multi use computers with the aim of providing the most learning benifit to the students. Using XP in 2020 would be like teaching people to write with a quill and ink well. The OS is the foundation and forms the basis of what you can do, how many compatibility layers and extra apps is it going to need piled on top of it to even just support the newer hardware and input methods like multitouch. I doubt that Microsoft is going to release another service pack for XP and it is not going to be much fun having to install a driver for every single bit of hardware in the computer as the OS has no idea what it is.
Microsoft have posted some additional info on their Windows Team Blog...
Customers who purchase Windows 7 PCs with end user downgrade rights as provided in the software license terms (EULA) will be able to downgrade to Windows XP Professional on those PCs for the life of the PC. However, customers will not be able to buy a Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate PC with end user downgrade rights after Windows 7 reaches the end of sales date in the OEM channel – which according to the current Windows Lifecycle policy is 2 years after the next version of Windows ships.
These changes are unrelated to our technical support policy. As mentioned in this blog post, extended support for Windows XP SP3 will continue through April 2014. So customers who downgrade their Windows 7 PCs to Windows XP will no longer be able to receive extended support after April 2014. After April 2014, customers will need to either get a custom support agreement or install a more modern OS on those PCs.
And of course there’s also the question of third party applications that run on Windows XP that our customers need as well. Analyst firms such as Gartner are predicting that many third party applications will no longer be supported by their makers after 2011, so we encourage customers to think holistically about their IT infrastructure as they make their Windows migration plans.
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