Microsoft announces that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have been released to manufacturing. In addition, Microsoft says it plans to release a family pack that would allow Windows 7 Home Premium to be installed on up to three PCs. Microsoft is presumably hoping that a high rate of adoption for its new products will improve its flagging finances.
announced the release of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to
manufacturing on July 22.
The two platforms represent a major part of Microsoft's grand strategy, as
it seeks to capitalize on technological trends such as virtualization that are
rapidly changing the face of IT. They also present a substantial chance for
revenue generation during a period when the company finds itself fighting a
substantial economic headwind. The release-to-manufacturing announcement came
one day before Microsoft's planned quarterly earnings call on July 23.
In a July 21 corporate blog entry, Microsoft also confirmed that it would
release a "family pack" for Windows 7 Home Premium
markets, which will allow installation on up to three PCs.
"We have heard a lot of feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over
the last three years that we need a better solution for homes with multiple
PCs," Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows communications manager at Microsoft,
wrote in the blog entry.
For the enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 is designed to take advantage of
Microsoft's Hyper-V technology in order to the growing trend toward
server's 64-bit architecture takes advantage of virtualization's hungrier
and also includes features such as Live Migration, which can
transparently move running guest systems between nodes inside a failover
cluster without risk of dropping the network connection.
here for more information on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Through Windows Server 2008 R2, virtual machines support hot plug-in and hot
removal of both virtual and physical storage without the need to reboot the
physical host system. Processing to the physical host, including TCP/IP
operations, is included in the Hyper-V abilities.
"We feel that this release specifically provides the catalyst for the
customers who haven't embarked on the virtualization journey," Mike
Schutz, director of product management for Microsoft's Windows Server Division,
said in an interview with eWEEK. "Hyper-V does provide a low bar for entry
as well as the ability to scale up to larger environments."
Microsoft is presumably hoping for quick adoption by businesses in order to
provide a much-needed boost in revenue for the remainder of 2009. Earnings for
the current quarter have been estimated at 36 cents a share on revenues of
$14.37 billion, a 9.3 percent drop from the same quarter in 2008, when the
company reported income of 47 cents a share on $15.84 billion of revenue.
In April, Microsoft
posted its first-ever quarterly revenue decline,
which saw its
Windows-centric Client division's revenue drop by 16 percent and income by 19
percent year over year. If Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are substantial
hits it could help negate the downward trend, especially if consumers and
businesses are compelled to engage in a tech refresh.