James Gardner, Chief Technology Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK, on a recent organization-wide upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7:
....Personally, I think it likely this is the last version of Windows anyone ever widely deploys, though.
The reason? I think they'll be fewer workloads that actually require a heavy deskop stack. Today, of course, we have all this legacy that's coupled to the desktop, but in a decade, I really doubt that will be the case. Most stuff will arrive via the browser.
Furthermore, its not impossible to imagine that they'll be ubiquitous wirless networking everywhere, even those difficult places outreach workers sometimes have to go. So we won't need a heavy desktop stack in order to make sure offline works.
....That's obviously over because most of the action is now happening in the datacentre (or the cloud).
From a strategic point of view, if you're designing the future technology estate of a large organisation, that last thing it makes sense to do in this kind of context is build stuff that depends on a desktop stack. Furthermore, decoupling legacy from the desktop stack also has to be on the agenda, because you just can't count on that stack being relevent in 10 years time.
It feels funny, doesn't it, thinking about Windows in the context of it being irrelevent, after all these years we've relied on it. I guess it proves, again, that change is the only constant.