As Microsoft delivers its Windows 7 RC to the public on May 5, company partners weigh in on the impact of the new Windows operating system on their products and customers. Microsoft is relying on more than 10,000 partners to help promote Windows 7 to customers.
As Microsoft delivers its Windows 7 Release Candidate operating system to
the public on May 5, company partners weigh in on the impact of the new
platform on their products and customers.
More than 10,000 companies have signed up to have access to the tools and
resources needed to prepare their products and services to take full advantage
of the innovations in Windows 7.
Dan Kelley, senior director of marketing for D-Link, a Microsoft partner and
maker of networking, broadband, digital electronics, voice, data and video
communications solutions for the digital home and business, said, "With
Windows 7 we see there's an opportunity for customers to get more out of their
home networking and make it easier throughout the entire process from
installing a network to adding connected devices."
Kelley added that, in his view, Windows 7 "has taken a focus on
networking and has brought a lot of that to the surface as part of the user
experience. And where the shared vision of D-Link and Microsoft comes into play
it's really the any time, anywhere access to pretty much my digital world."
Moreover, "Connectivity is key," Kelley said. "If you can't get
[the network] installed and connected then the experience is going to be pretty
poor. So with the early access to the testing tools and the beta process we're
going to be able to give our customers a great experience."
For his part, Joe Roberts, executive vice president of Corel, said of
Windows 7, "You're really drawn into it; you want to use it."
Roberts added that Windows 7 is "an important release for Corel. We
actually see this as a very strong and stable platform. It really is sparking
the creativity in our user experience team and our engineers. Most of the
development becomes inherent-it's just part of the operating system. We don't
have to write special code for the hardware; it's just part of the overall API."
In a statement, Roberts added: "Drawing on our customer research, we're
building new creative consumer applications that take advantage of the solid
performance and powerful touch capabilities Windows 7 offers to turn the
typical user experience of mouse clicks and menus on its head-completely
changing how users interact with Corel's creative software."
"Listening to our partners and customers has been fundamental to the
development of Windows 7," said Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the
Windows business at Microsoft, also in a statement issued when Microsoft
initially delivered the release candidate of Windows 7 to MSDN (Microsoft
Developer Network) on April 30. "We heard them and worked hard to deliver
the highest-quality release candidate in the history of Windows. We have more partner
support than we've ever had for an RC and are pleased to say that the Windows 7
RC has hit the quality and compatibility bar for enterprises to start putting
it through its paces and testing in earnest."
Meanwhile, as part of the Windows 7 RC milestone, Microsoft is releasing a
beta version of Windows XP Mode, which enables users of Windows 7 Professional
and above to launch many older Windows XP productivity applications directly
from their Windows 7 desktops, the company said. The Windows XP Mode stand-alone
feature is designed to help small businesses that are using XP applications
move to Windows 7. For larger businesses, there is MED-V
(Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization). MED-V
2.0 builds on top of Windows Virtual PC and provides centralized management of
Windows XP Mode, Microsoft officials said. MED-V
2.0 will be available as a beta within 90 days of the general availability of
In an interview on Microsoft's PressPass site, Scott
Woodgate, director of Desktop Virtualization and MDOP (Microsoft Desktop
Optimization Pack) at Microsoft, discussed Windows XP Mode:
We are announcing the beta release of
Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. Small businesses told us they wanted help
upgrading to Windows 7. Windows XP Mode, an optional feature of Windows 7
Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions, helps small businesses upgrade
to Windows 7 by providing a virtual Windows XP environment capable of running
many Windows XP-compatible business and productivity applications. Customers
can run many older Windows XP business and productivity applications within
Windows XP Mode and launch them from the Windows 7 desktop with just a single
Explaining how Windows XP Mode works, Woodgate added, "Windows XP Mode
is the combination of two features. The first part is a pre-packaged virtual
Windows XP environment. The second is Windows Virtual PC, which is used to run
the virtual Windows XP environment. Customers can install their applications
into Windows XP Mode using typical installation processes such as downloading
from the Web or using the product CD. Once installed, the applications are
automatically available on the Windows 7 Start Menu and can be launched just
like any Windows 7 program. Optionally, these Windows XP applications can be
pinned to the Windows 7 Task Bar and launched using just a single click from
the Windows 7 desktop."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.