Microsoft is actively endorsing rival vendors for the first time in order to assist its partners in helping their customers migrate to new Microsoft operating systems.
The vendor's Desktop Enablement Partner Programme (DEPP) sees vendors Centrix, Appsense, Quest, Citrix and Camwood work with Microsoft channel partners across all competencies to best help their customers update their operating systems (OS).
DEPP, which was launched to coincide with Windows 8 uptake, is designed not only to help customers migrate to the new OS but also to assist those moving from XP to Windows 7.
David Rodger, Windows client commercial lead at Microsoft UK said that by deploying vendor migration partners, end users will face a less daunting task in updating their systems.
He said: "Deploying a new desktop operating system can seem like a daunting task [and] sorting through the wealth of information about deployment can be overwhelming.
"Microsoft can provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to each step in the... deployment process from application compatibility testing and volume activation to image creation and data migration."
Microsoft DEPP partner Centrix is using its WorkSpace IQ analytics tool in order for partners to help work out which customer applications are compatible with an upgraded OS.
Richard Pegden, Centrix's director for product marketing, said that many customers find that the majority of their applications are unusable on newer systems, meaning that attempts to deploy the whole lot are futile, and time-consuming.
He said: "The biggest challenge to partners and customers is around application compatibility. Not all of the apps on XP are automatically compatible with Windows 7, so there is significant cost in replacement or remediating them.
"Our analytics tool shows customers what is being used so their migration is more focused. Knowing this information benefits us, the partners and customers, as well as Microsoft as it accelerates deployment of updated systems."
Pegden added that the April 2014's end of life of XP means that time is running out to migrate.
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