Microsoft XP has been widely anticipated by the industry for some time and will be released on October 25. The onus will now be on integrators to understand the product and make their own assessment of the value that it will provide in their customers' IT environments.
The release is attracting a lot of press. The Sydney Morning Herald recently ran a story, "Hidden cost of XP could catch buyers unaware", highlighting the costs of upgrading hardware that businesses will need to meet if they wish to implement the new technology throughout their organisations. Conversely, there are many more reports about the benefits this product will provide to businesses in terms of improved productivity, its superior reliability, and ease of use in comparison to previous operating environments.
It also must be said that any significant software upgrade at the moment would probably result in a review of legacy hardware systems.
So, should businesses take the plunge and purchase Microsoft XP or not?
Like any new technology, the decision should be a business-driven one. There are many good reasons for small-to-medium businesses or home users to seriously consider Microsoft XP. For instance, the remote assistance for technical support, available in the Windows XP Professional package, would be extremely valuable for any small business that does not have an IT or help-desk arrangement. Also, there are improved corporate security, backup, file saving and sharing features.
Integrators can turn to their distributor for assistance with selling the product. Plus the distributor can answer any other technical questions they may have about Windows XP. At Express Data, for example, we have recently conducted a national training seminar for Windows XP. Our sales, licensing and pre-sales areas have all completed the MS Windows XP sales training certificate and can help answer any queries integrators may have.
Alternatively, the Internet is a great source of information on Windows XP. Our Web site contains the latest product releases and news from Microsoft about Windows XP. For comprehensive information you can look no further than the official Web site, which is www.microsoft.com/windowsxp. Another helpful site is www.ntcompatible.com, which contains a list of commonly asked questions and answers that may be helpful for integrators when preparing for a sales presentation.
Peter Masters is the national marketing manager of distributor Express Data