Microsoft’s highly anticipated Windows 7 operating systems, which is officially launched on October 22, is already being welcomed by the channel community.
The new OS will be available from October 22 in two primary versions – Home Premium for consumers and Windows 7 Professional for corporates – but six editions all up including Starter, Enterprise and Ultimate. Highlight features of the 64-bit platform include Windows touchscreen functionality, the customisable user interface, a new Windows taskbar and federated search capabilities, DirectAccess for VPN connectivity, improved BitLocker security for PCs, applications and flash drives, and optimised virtual desktop features. It can also run older XP applications on the Windows 7 desktop.
Windows 7 is already being heralded for its stability, as well as ability to run off existing hardware systems. Managing director at systems integrator Regal IT, Mark Gluckman, said most of its customers were already trialling or beta testing the new operating system. He was yet to hear of any negative feedback and predicted the ability to upload Windows 7 on current PCs would be a major driver for fast customer take-up. The Microsoft Gold partner operates in the mid-market.
“All our customers avoided Vista because it has been such a nightmare,” Gluckman said. For him, key features included Microsoft’s updated management tools such as SystemsCentre technology with configuration and operations manager, and the new rewrite of Systems Management Server (SMS).
Director at Melbourne-based Jasco Consulting, Jason McClintock, agreed there was a lot of interest in Windows 7 across his enterprise customer base, particularly with those also looking to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, which was released in May.
“There are a lot of complementary features between the two – DirectAccess, and security with BitLocker for example, which are being focused on,” McClintock said. “From an enterprise point of view, we needed to see value from day one, not just an upgrade, and I think there is some very nice enterprise functionality that people will jump on.”
McClintock pointed out some cost benefits attached to upgrading to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 SP2, such as the VPN capability allowing laptops and servers to talk to one another without third-party add-ons. This should help sell the software platforms to customers still being driven by cost considerations, he said.
Harvey Norman is also predicting strong sales and will open its Sydney and Melbourne stores at midnight on October 22 to accommodate the large number of customers anticipated, general manager of computers, Luke Naish, said.
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