Microsoft OEMs remain confident about the anticipated uptake of Windows 7, as the software giant hands them the codes for its new operating system (OS).
Also making the codes available to its ISV partners, Microsoft has finally announced Release to Manufacturer (RTM) to ensure hardware is preinstalled with the OS, ready for its official launch later this year.
Ben Perrin, consumer business development manager at HP, told CRN that Windows 7 will be a much-needed shot in the arm for the market.
He said: “We are expecting a very high uptake for Windows 7 as it will give people a reason to buy a new PC – it has gone back to basics and is addressing everything customers asked for. We have a raft of new products coming up this year and with the RTM now we can ensure everything works well together.
“The new OS preserves the best of Vista because you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Perrin said many customers are still using Windows XP and there is a great opportunity for the channel to explain to their customers the benefits of upgrading to Windows 7.
“The channel can add value by clarifying the benefits of the new OS and how it is different to what Microsoft has done in the past – it will be the catalyst in a difficult market,” he said.
Rich Reynolds, general manager for the Windows commercial marketing organisation, said: “We wanted to deliver the new OS within three years of Vista and we are delighted to have kept that promise.
“Our OEMs are starting the final step of the Windows 7 execution – they asked us for a stable base in which they could differentiate their solutions and that is what we have given them. From feedback we have received we are confident that there will be a high uptake – netbooks in particular.”
Jim Ginger, director of services at Microsoft OEM partner Dell, said Windows XP is about eight years old now, so customers are looking to skip a generation to upgrade to Windows 7.
He said: “We are aiming to make this transition as smooth and as simple as possible for the customer.”
Ginger said final testing is currently taking place at Dell, setting a release date for 22 October.
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