Microsoft has released the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program as part of its effort to prepare its partners for the availability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Launched on Feb. 2, the Ecosystem Readiness Program provides the tools and resources partners need to begin testing their existing applications, devices and systems to ensure compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
For developers, Windows 7 will provide a solid platform with tools for increased application compatibility, better performance, and sophisticated document support, giving them the power to build the right user experiences for their applications, Microsoft says.
The Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program is designed to help Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), developers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) achieve compatibility and innovation with Windows 7.
In addition, the program supports service-enabled software and devices, such as mobile phones, portable media players and digital cameras that demand constant connectivity and advanced applications. Windows 7 delivers a platform for both, making it easy for developers to take advantage of the functionality and features of next generation hardware, while ensuring that users are always on and always connected.
To access the Ecosystem Readiness Program, hardware partners can go to http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/Win7_Beta.mspx, and software partners can go to www.msdn.com/windows. From these sites, respective partners can download the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 betas, development and test toolkits, and gain access to technical documents and other resources they need.
In an interview on the Microsoft PressPass Web site describing the programs, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management, said:
""There is no better time to take advantage of the tools and resources available in the program. Perhaps the most important benefit is access to the new beta builds of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, along with the updates to the Windows Driver Kit, the Windows Logo Kit, the software development kit and other resources."Finally, we want to make sure OEMs and ISVs are ready for the compatibility tests of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, so we're providing technical support via our application testing labs. We realize that some partners are unable to travel to our Microsoft labs, so we're also providing lab access online as well as through Live Meeting sessions. Additionally, we have virtual servers loaded with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 on which partners can perform remote testing. The goal is to ensure that partners' existing hardware and applications are compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.""
Nash also said Microsoft is recommending three things to partners regarding the new operating systems:
""First, now that the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 betas are available, we strongly encourage partners to download the code and tools. This will help them get a sense of the products' capabilities and identify opportunities."Secondly, hardware and software partners should go to the sites mentioned above to join the Ecosystem Readiness Program and access the resources available to begin testing their applications and devices on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 at their earliest convenience."Finally, it's a great time for partners to validate that their products work on Windows Vista, which will carry over to Windows 7. The same recommendation applies for server applications that work on Windows Server 2003 but have not been upgraded yet to support Windows Server 2008." "