Software giant Microsoft has called on partners to keep pushing Windows 7, despite the growing hype surrounding the operating system's successor.
During the first keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Los Angeles, Tami Reller, the firm's corporate vice president, hailed the success of Windows 7, but said there were still too many businesses using XP.
"Two-thirds of business PCs are still on Windows XP [and] moving these users to Windows 7 is important and urgent work," said Reller. "We must help customers migrate more than 300 million desktops to a modern experience and you [partners] will play a critical role."
With Windows XP due to reach end of life in 1,000 days, partners need to impress on end users the risks they face if they continue to run the decade-old operating system past this date.
"What end of life means is that ongoing standard support and software maintenance will not be part of the Windows XP experience and that can introduce material risk to a business," she explained.
"We are [also] finding that half of our business customers are working with partners as they deploy Windows 7 [and] we believe that well over $40bn worth of services will be purchased by customers as part of this move."
After highlighting the benefits associated with moving away from XP, Reller went on to discuss the ongoing development of Windows 8, but gave no clues as to when it will be launched.
She revealed that the new operating systems will be optimised for use with touchscreen devices, as well as traditional PCs, and will have similar system requirements as Windows 7.
"We will continue on with the important trend we started with Windows 7, keeping system requirements either flat or reducing them over time," she explained. "For our business customers, this is an important element, because it means the hardware investments they make today will allow them to take advantage of Windows 8 in the future."
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