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A close look at Windows 7

A close look at Windows 7

As XP ages, upgrading to Windows 7 is a good step for enterprises and CIOs to make, according to Microsoft NZ's Windows business client manager Ben Green.

As XP ages, upgrading to Windows 7 is a good step for enterprises and CIOs to make, according to Windows business client manager Ben Green. “For a CIO, the conversation we have with them is looking at the total cost of running desktop infrastructure and what is the productivity return. What we know from research is that 70 per cent of cost is labour related and only 30 per cent of it is to do with the cost of the hardware.”

He says a CIO is faced with the challenge of end user needs combined with the IT end of the spectrum, which is about control and management. “We knew when we started talking about Windows 7 is that the more agile your infrastructure is, the better the return. Vista is that OS that we’ve been talking about because it’s modern. I don’t think there is any enterprise that doesn’t at least have a trial of Vista happening. The uptake has been as expected.”

He says if CIOs buy into the cost benefit, the move to Vista is very strong. “I totally understand that a lot of businesses are still on XP and are waiting for Windows 7. But the first thing we say to people is that Vista is the best path to Windows 7.

A large enterprise that has taken the time to test the apps and has got plans to deploy it has the best plan, because it has taken them two years to get to that point.”

The problems experienced with Vista have improved thanks to upgrade programmes and Green claims skipping Vista is not feasible if an organisation wants to use Windows 7.

“What is your rational for skipping Vista? You’re really committing your organisation to an OS which is quite old and not very secure. The other side of the coin is a lot of applications that were written for XP, won’t work on Vista because of security issues.

Windows 7 has the same architecture as Vista and that’s why you’re getting a lot of excitement in the market now.”

Green adds that Windows 7 offers a lot of new enterprise features. “Everyone likes an OS that does its thing and then gets out of the way.

“Research has shown us the typical user has between five and 15 applications open at any one time. We also know that people use a lot of time re-sizing windows etc. With the desktop enhancements, all of your windows become transparent so you can see the desktop again.”

A bonus for CIOs looking to cut costs is that Windows 7 runs well on older hardware. “Vista needed a lot of resources, but Windows 7 has a lighter OS. We’ve tweaked the architecture of Windows 7 so battery life is longer and programs use less memory. That’s great in today’s economy where everyone is worrying about hardware upgrades.”

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