by Shane O'Neill

Windows 7 Enterprise Upgrades: Microsoft Makes Its Strongest Case Yet

Sep 14, 2009
Data Center

It's <i>really</i> time to get off Windows XP, says Microsoft, in a new blog post chock full of advice and research data.

The procrastinating on enterprise Windows 7 deployments ends now. XP users, you’ve been warned — er, I mean encouraged.

That’s Microsoft’s message today in a new post on its Windows for your Business blog site. Microsoft is trumpeting that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are ready right now for mainstream deployment.

Such encouragement is aimed at Microsoft’s volume-licensing customers that are still using Windows XP but have the right to upgrade to new versions of Windows while they are under contract.

Windows 7 Bible: Your Complete Guide to the Next Version of Windows

In the post, Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft’s General Manager, Windows Product Management Group, doles out deployment tips and cost-saving data from early adopter studies.

She also highlights updates to MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack), Microsoft’s service — available to enterprises that use Microsoft’s SA (software assurance) program — which helps IT departments manage multiple Windows 7 machines across a corporate network.

Microsoft is releasing MDOP 2009 R2 in late October with updates for Windows 7, which is earlier than its previously-announced launch time of early 2010. For more information about MDOP, read Microsoft’s new MDOP Team blog post.

To push Microsoft’s “Deploy Windows 7 Now” message and make businesses on the fence feel more comfortable about an upgrade, Schuster underscores some early Windows 7 adopters that are seeing projected cost savings. Two examples are Baker Tilly, a British accounting and financial services firm with 2,200 users, and the City of Miami government services with 2,235 users.

Microsoft did TCO (total cost of ownership) studies on these two deployments, plus a third study for Getronics, an IT services company in the Netherlands.

After gathering data from the three studies in areas such as power consumption, help desk calls, PC and application management, and unauthorized application installation, Microsoft concludes that Windows 7 deployments will result in savings of $89 to $160 per PC annually and will reduce IT labor costs by 10 to 20 percent.

Microsoft also makes note in the post of a study of 318 senior IT decision makers by research firm Forrester. The study, commisioned by Microsoft, concludes that the workplace is changing drastically and that IT managers care the most about cutting costs, improving support of the increasing amount of remote workers, and improving security and worker mobility.

It’s not surprising that Microsoft would publish the Forrester study in conjunction with its push for Windows 7 enterprise deployments: The OS’s enterprise features such as DirectAccess, BranchCache and App Locker, which work in conjunction with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2 release, are designed to solve the very issues emphasized in the Forrester study.

“The study results have really helped us understand the areas we need to stress with customers,” said Schuster.

Windows 7 was made available to Microsoft’s volume-licensing customers on Aug. 7, and it’s scheduled to be generally available on Oct. 22.

Click here to read Schuster’s full blog post on the Windows for your Business blog site.

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