Well, soon anyway. Microsoft has said that they will RTM (release to manufacturer) gold code to the market by the end of this month. There are several folks talking about Windows 7 (Win7), so I won't go too deep into the OS itself. Brandon and team at Microsoft have done a great job of chronicling the developments and features of Windows.
I will say however, that I have been running the Win7 release candidate on my home computer and can tell you that it is rocks! It's fast, nimble, stable, etc. Our engineering and development teams have been working really closely with Microsoft to get the OS ready. We're already working with early adopter customers to deploy Win7 and their feedback is overwhelmingly positive. I'm happy to report that I've have been accepted into Dell's Win7 early adopter program and can't wait to get it on my machine!
What we find interesting about our commercial customers is that 86 percent of commercial customers are still using XP, according to Forrester. This presents a unique challenge for IT departments as XP is now 8 years old and customers are looking at a “skip-generation” upgrade to Windows 7 (read: clean wipe of the hard drive).
The first step in any software deployment is planning. As with any software deployment it is important to look at application compatibility. Customers must be able to understand what is compatible, what isn’t and how they remediate? Do they keep low-use applications? Will the way they package their applications be compatible with the OS? These are all questions customers need to understand the answers to. We can help them with our global Application Compatibility Factory that will help them get to the answers they need.
From there we help them assess, design and implement their deployments. Rather than throwing a bunch of suits at the problem, Dell ProConsult services offerings utilize electronic discovery, Web based surveys, best practices, comparative data, reference architectures and logic to offer customers shorter, more impactful consulting engagements.
We're pumped about Win7 – I haven't run into a single person within Dell that isn't. It's now time for us to get to work and help our customers make the transition.