Windows 7 upgrade will not be hampered by downturn

The new operating system will actually deliver an economic return, says Microsoft Australia's Windows Commercial Group Lead.

The finished version of Windows 7 will land in the hands of IT professionals and partners on August 6 worldwide and Microsoft Australia Windows Commercial Group Lead, Sarah Vaughan is confident that the enthusiasm to upgrade will not be hampered by current economic conditions.

Microsoft today announced that it had finished work on Windows 7, declaring that it has met the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) milestone. It also today announced release dates for the finalised upgraded server, Windows Server 2008 R2, timed to be released in conjunction with the new operating system.

Developers and IT professionals worldwide who subscribe to MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) and TechNet will be able to download the new operating system starting August 6 and it will be available to retail October 22. The release dates are in US times but both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available simultaneously world-wide.

Although the current economic climate may not seem to be the ideal time to be tempting companies to upgrade, Vaughan disagrees.

“The feedback Microsoft is getting is that this system is making users more productive and saving them time. There are also improvements on energy utilisation which has an economic benefit for organisations,” she said.

“Some of our partners will demonstrate how this operating system will directly address the current economic climate and return a financial benefit to companies.”

Vaughan said that a number of Australian companies have been early adopters of Windows 7. The feature gaining the most positive feedback from these enterprise customers is Direct Access which takes away the need for a separate Virtual Private Network (VPN) system.

“It basically means that a staff member can access corporate infrastructure from any remote location seamlessly,” she said.

Vaughan is not concerned about reports that the final RTM version of Windows 7 has been made widely available on file sharing sites.

“There's lots of speculation about that, and I am not personally aware of whether that is the case or not.”

Vaughan does not think the illegal downloads will eat significantly into Microsoft's market share.

“We have been very happy about the demand for Windows 7 and the extent to which it has been trialled. The market has really tested the early versions well and the feedback we have gained from that process has really helped us with the final product. The fact that more people have tried it has made it a better product.”

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