back to article Microsoft courts enterprises with Windows 7

Microsoft has shifted focus from consumers and has begun targeting major enterprises mostly running Windows XP by telling them to prepare for Windows 7. The company's Windows team has advised enterprises to start testing and planning for Windows 7 now and to send Microsoft their feedback. "If you haven't been considering …


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  1. Jason Harvey

    So MS wants enterprises to upgrade...

    in this economy when everyone is cutting costs? I know my workplace runs on systems that average about 7 years old. some are still running windows 98... there's actually one system I know of that runs on a 386 cpu in DOS. our NEWEST systems are a few dual core boxes that only have 512meg of ram. these might be able to run windows 7, but these are not the norm. the norm is single core cpus less than 1GHz with 256megs of ram. I don't think these will run windows 7 faster than Neptune gets around the sun if at all. and I know for a fact that the company isn't going to shell out millions to upgrade all the system to be capable of running windows 7.

    in short, MS is smoking some serious dope if they think corps are going to go for windows 7.

  2. Nicholas Ettel
    Thumb Down


    "We're convinced Windows 7 has [sic] an exciting and powerful offering for our business customers, but we want to hear from you," Schuster wrote.

    I see nothing grammatically wrong with that sentence.

  3. Scott K

    plaiting fog?

    More chance tbh I think they blew the "lets keep up to date" crowd away with the absolute shiteness of Vista. Even waiting for sp1 has proved fruitless and the Beta version of windows 7 is like a more buggy version of Vista (is that even possible).Ignoring the Beta testers won't help eitnher really in my opinion it's not going to happen unless it is forced upon people, even then 80% will stick with XP over Win 7 or Vista

  4. Patrick
    Paris Hilton

    Eha what???

    What a total load of pig swill! Nothing in thay will make me believe the marketing codswallow of reducing costs or making life better. Absolitely nothing. That sheiBt is reserved for the few older generation of clueless managers to lap up like dogs in front of the Microsoft marketing feed trough of lies.

    Tired of this crap so Paris becauase she like darkness, beds and video tape as well!

  5. Mark

    Several issues

    1. The economy isn't looking too good so fat chance major enterprise is going to be bothering.

    2. The compelling reason to change OS would be to move to 64-bit computing, seeing as the guts of the PC are already there. The problem is that there aren't really the drivers or 3rd party apps written for it - chicken and egg situation. Natural candidates such as Matlab are already there but this is pretty specialist even in the enterprise. You might as well go 32 to 64 if you're moving OS anyhow.

    3. Windows 7 seems to be a ponced up interface on Vista - lipstick on a pig. Enterprise users are sceptical after Vista (10% takeup) much like ordinary users are. There's still nothing compelling. Try forcing business to outlay big bucks in a downturn and see how your company goes.

    4. Why? Just simply why would you?

  6. rob
    Thumb Down

    They used their last joker

    They used their last card with Vista.

    Now, nobody believes their blatant lies and marketing fluff.

    If Windows 7 is so good, prove it. Offer it for free for a 30 day trial, then i'll try it out and see if it's a pile of crap or if it's really the OS they say it is. Until then, I'll be happy with XP dual booting with Debian

  7. Anonymous Coward

    32bit plus support for pre win2k applications

    unless they made better support for 32bit application in their 64bit environment and also better support _OLDER_ applications, then my company won't make the shift.

    Some older applications are still in use today at home and in the enterprise environment this is even more true. In order to move to Vista or Windows 7, the PC won't be the only thing that will be updated, but a lot of other devices and applications. The price of upgrading (or more accurately *replacing*) the ERP packages that some companies are using and the training of the staff on the new package is simply to great for many companies (including my own) to wish to take just for the new interface.

    I don't know when will MS get it, it is not how much we are going to gain with Vista or Win7, but how much we are going to loss if move to Vista or Win7. If they can make sure that Win7 can emulate (virtually) every aspect of WinXP and let the application believe it is running on WinXP. Then _some_ companies (including mine) might consider the upgrade, otherwise, not a chance in hell.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Alternatives exist, and are better...

    Why would we shell out ~ $300 per license?

    The answer of course, is to get the updated version of an OS that:

    1) is the de facto standard today due to it being the de facto standard for the past 15 years.

    2) is the leader on the desktop because of 'forced' installations at purchase time.

    3) has not had any mass-market-viable competitor for at least 10 years.

    4) plays the lions share of the games available for the PC market today.

    That would be reason enough for many, without question. The proof of this is in the sales numbers of every windows version through XP. Now, however, we are faced with some new realities:

    1) Mac is becoming much more mass-market-appealling. Linux is becoming more user-friendly (slowly, but relentlessly - see Ubuntu).

    2) Other OS's are available at purchase time now, many of them there to cut the $300-500 price tag to serve a populace reeling from recession.

    3) Other OS's (Mac/Linux) have the same functionality in productivity suite tools now with, and with the recent phenomena of online applications (google-service-X) Microsoft Office has been made a bit redundant.

    4) Games are moving off the PC and onto the console more each year.

    Will the next Microsoft OS regain it's prior market share? I doubt it. But I also doubt that Microsoft as a profitable entity is going anywhere soon. Where they will lose out in the OS game they will win in other areas, this is an incredibly talent-heavy organization!

  9. Shadow Systems

    Microsoft doesn't operate in our frame of Reality.

    They want business' to upgrade to Windows 7, even after having *just* attempting to screw them over with Vista.

    What business owner in their right mind is going to want to lay out the cash needed to upgrade every computer in the company JUST to run a "bleeding edge" release from Microsoft?

    Every company I consult for is still running "antiquated" computers (from single-core 1GHz & under a Gig of RAM, to single-core 2GHz & about a Gig of RAM) that, as far as Microsoft is concerned, isn't good enough to run Vista nor Seven.

    (My brand new HP HDX18, quad-core 2GHz + 4Gig RAM + 64Gig SSD doesn't even rate a *FIVE* on the Vista performance scale, so what chance in HELL do the older machines have?)

    In this down-turned economy, what company can afford to upgrade everything (that already works with, & is currently running relatively smoothly with, XP) to something that has known driver issues, known incompatibilities with existing software, requires thousands of dollars *per machine* to bring it up to the minimum specs required to run the OS with any form of competency ("snappiness"), & will require hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars *per employee* to retrain to use it properly?

    (Your IT staff alone may break the bank, much less retraining your rank & file workers.)

    Microsoft hasn't got a clue, it seems.

    If a business owner already has a working infrastructure, what's the point in "upgrading" to something that, arguably, may cause them to go out of business?

    None that I can see.

    Yes XP is a pig, but it's a pig we know, are familiar with, and have already worked-out the kinks (for the most part) so we can work with what we have.

    Vista's a pig that is still trying to find the bugs, can't get them to go away, & eats from the resources trough like a, well, pig.

    Windows Seven is, supposedly, a "lighter on the resources" OS, but it's still in *BETA*, and there isn't a competent business owner on the planet who will throw away what they have, that they know works, on the "pig in a poke" that is Seven.

    ("Joke Alert" because if MS thinks that we're falling for this, the punch-line's on them...)

  10. Bobster
    Jobs Horns

    Ballmer's Wrath

    "Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer told Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) attending their company's conference in Seattle, Washington that if they didn't move off Windows XP "they'd feel the wrath," according to attendees Twittering about the event."

    'They'd feel the wrath'... Oh no, run for cover... Ballmer's going to throw a chair at us!!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Why oh why?

    No business in least the private sector is going to shell out for new hardware and most unlikely new software any time soon.

    We are not in a recession, or even depression, but most likely a permanent step change from 5th gear to 3rd gear due to credit evaporating and not coming back. Like any other business, MS will need to get use to the new reality.

    If anyone really needs new OS then they will get far better ROI by getting a user-friendly version of linux with codeweavers installed to be able to run Office 2003 or earlier, or an emulator. Should not cost more than $50 a pop, even cheaper if you have time to frig around with WINE yourself - make that $0 for the OS in that case.

    Functionally more than adequate, stability immense, security amazing, why are people so lazy not to be arsed to switch from MS? There simply is no longer any excuse for not switching in a business, especially with codeweavers or an emulator readily available

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Even with our volume licencing agreement

    we will not be shifting to Vista and we will not be engineering a new desktop solution on W7 for delivery before Q4 2010. We may also even delay hardware replacement by 6-9 months in the current economic climate (into Q3 2010)

    There is nothing MS can actually do here to change out minds - unless they re-engineer and deploy for us. For free.

    Downturn leads to cost cutting leads to non-essential projects and initiatives being cancelled.

    Bring on the miracle please!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:So MS wants enterprises to upgrade...

    Jeez....and I thought some of our systems were old :)

    Actually Windows 7 runs fairly well on low-end machines (unlike Vista) and even on a 1.4GHz celeron laptop the performance of booting and running apps is comparable to a fresh install of XP. It does (afaik) require 1GB of RAM, but then RAM is not that expensive if you don't have to upgrade the rest of the machine as well.

    To be fair, I don't believe "most" companies are still running a majority of "single core machines less than 1 GHz" although it's conceivable that a lot of companies may have some machines like this still hanging on.

    Really, honestly, the success/failure of Windows 7 at least in the corporate environment, will depend on the major software companies and whether they choose to develop for Win 7 and gradually reduce development for XP. If this happens, most companies will have little choice but to upgrade if they want to continue receiving support and updates for their apps.

    By the way, I don't like MS as a company, but I have been trying out Windows 7 and do quite like it as an OS. At home, I'll probably use it once it comes out - as for work, well I guess that will depend on the other factors involved.

  14. s
    Thumb Up


    "Offer it free for a 30 day trial"

    Err... Have you tried the Beta? Looking at the comments here I'm guessing not many people have otherwise they would roll out the same tired "Vista, but with more bugs".

    I actually like Vista - but then I use it on a decent system and not a 10 year old box the cheapest system in the store. I have used it on a netbook for 2 hours dirng the upgrade form XP Pro to Windows 7 and it's a dog on the thing - slow doesn't come into it. Win 7 on the other hand is a joy to use - quicker than XP and brings the multi touch, that is to slow to use in XP, to life.

    Can't wait for the real release - it's going to go straight on the machine.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-training users

    The biggest problem with corporate uptake to me would seem to be the re-training or loss of user productivity while they learn it.

    I actually like Windows 7, it's a decent successor to XP. But there is a steep learning curve, and that would potentially overload helpdesks in the weeks and months following deployment.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    El-Reg classic

    Get your own house in order before complaining about grammar!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    re: [sic]

    Is it possible for an OS to have an offering, being non-human?

    An OS might be an offering from MS, probably a burnt one at that, but I doubt it has an offering of its own.

    Of course, it might be the believers who shall be burnt which either means the thunderbolt missed or they were running xp and hence weren't true enough.

    I'm not being a pedant, I'm just seeking truth.

    I'd just like to say I'm not anti-windows. I've been running it for years (xp I'm afraid). It makes quite a good games platform. Of course, all my important stuff stays on linux.

    Icon: Is it wrong to sacrifice the beast?

  18. myxiplx

    AppLocker - great, but 3 years late and half baked

    I think I remember SysInternals releasing Windows Protection Manager a few years ago, that did everything AppLocker does, and then some (automatic program detection, instant approval process), and did it all for Windows XP.

    Unfortunately, Microsoft bought the company and buried the product.

    And now they have the cheek to expect me to upgrade my OS to get a half baked implementation of a product I could have bought three years ago?

    Windows 7 does look interesting enough for us to have a look at, but Microsoft have a long way to go before they repair the damage done to their reputation over the last few years. Unless this is very, very good, they're still not likely to get any sales from this company.

  19. Chris Williams

    School bully

    'Steve Ballmer told Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) attending their company's conference in Seattle, Washington that if they didn't move off Windows XP "they'd feel the wrath"'

    "Big-boy Ballmer said he'd be waiting outside the school gates to duff up anybody who didn't give him their dinner money"

  20. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Gap in the market

    Is the usual way to hold off the enterprise upgrades in the knowledge that by the time you get round to rolling it out, a good portion of your users will already be familiar with it from their home PC? 'Course, this requires takeup in the home market.

    I can't help thinking Apple are missing a trick here. There is definitely a wider market for their stuff right now, more so than ever before what with the pish that MS keep releasing, so what do Apple do? Raise their prices in a downturn, you say?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    here we go again...

    Que a load of comments from idiots branding everyone "Microsoft Haters" and saying how everyone should try Windows 7 before they slag it off....

    Yeah, yeah whatever, you can shove it. After the complete, shambolic arseness of Vista most people have lost trust in Microsoft's new operating systems to provide a usable, stable desktop platform.

    No one in the right mind will take up Windows 7 for a long time after its release date. It still amazes me how such a large company such as Microsoft screwed up a desktop operating system so much.

  22. Ray
    Jobs Horns

    feel the wrath...

    ...of this fully armed and operational battle station!

    by which, i assume, he means windows xp sp4. which they will, of course, be forced to release as no-one will buy windows 7.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Coming to a network near you soon

    You lot make me laugh.

    Windows 7 is here to stay and you had better get used to it.

    Vista was a complete shambles and many businesses have been able to claw on to Windows XP - many going to the extreme of downgrading to XP. This can't carry on.

    I don't give a crap what any of you say but as soon as Windows 7 is released people will start to buy boxes and laptops with it on including in the enterprise.

    I have been Beta testing Windows 7 in a corporate environment and preparing for it. It runs well on moderate hardware (unlike Vista) and supports our in-hose software.

    No I am not some Microsoft Gold Partner knobcheese before any of you accuse me but a sysadmin in the real world.

  24. Gilbo
    Gates Halo


    Funny that, I remember people saying exactly the same thing about Windows 2000 after Windows ME was released.

  25. Peter Kay

    Emulation in *nix - you've *got* to be kidding

    It's not just a '$50 upgrade to stick codeweavers on Linux' - it's a massive reinstallation, retraining and support job. It only makes sense if a long term shift to <other platform> is your strategic direction.

    Anyone using emulation libraries (WINE, codeweavers) to run important software is an idiot. It may be fine for home use where your data isn't important, but unless you've got a relatively simple app where all execution paths can be tested or own the sourcecode, it's not viable to run a complex app where all scenarios have not been tested (go look at codeweavers and WINE compatibility for complex apps (i.e. office) : it is not good).

    Virtualisation (VMWare, perhaps QEmu, Virtualbox if you're desperate) does work, but you then need to buy the OS license. Seeing as you're buying the license you might as well run it native anyway.

    Compatibility of Openoffice and other apps isn't good enough (yet), so until that improves or OO is popular enough to be commonly used, things aren't going to change.

    Windows 7 probably will succeed if they fix the outstanding bugs, although whether more older, badly written apps will run on it is another question. Whether it deserves to succeed is another question, as it's basically what Vista should have been.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not going to happen!

    My small shop ( only a few hundred desktops ) spent months testing all our home-grown apps with Vista, only to conclude that it needed more stability. Maybe Seven has this now, but given the fact that most companies are cutting the workforce, there are no resources to do the the months of testing on all the apps. MS obviously forgot that real IT people at least attempt to test a product before giving it to the general user base, just in case, duh I dunno, it doesn't work exactly as it says on the tin?!

    Sorry mS, but like most places we have everything from NT to XP, but nothing higher, just too risky at the moment!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I used vista, it really was shit, I got rid of it.

    I used windows 7, hmmm it was pretty nippy, the menu system is rubbish, windows explorer defaults are rubbish, gadgets are rubbish, the ribbon is rubbish, and they still hide file extensions by default - how stupid is that? Basically all the rubbish stuff they added in Vista is still there.

    It's a shame they neutered their UAC.

    However if you want to address more then 3.5gb of memory it's gonna be a better choice then xp 64bit. But we don't need it yet where I am, XP works for everything we need and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sure maybe a few years after it's released we'll upgrade to it, but there's no rush. It's just an operating system and the one we have now works just dandy.

  28. N Silver badge

    Dear Microbollox

    You can say what ever you like, but we arnt listening, Vista was a completely dreadful over hyped pile of guano.

    As for statements like:

    "We're convinced Windows 7 has an exciting and powerful offering for our business customers, but we want to hear from you,"

    We are not convinced of anything other than expenditure & turmoil we dont need when the economy is not good.

  29. Henk Tiggelaar


    "Funny that, I remember people saying exactly the same thing about Windows 2000 after Windows ME was released."

    That certainly IS funny since Windows ME was released AFTER Windows 2000...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    El Reg is right - should be "we're convinced Windows 7 *is* an exciting and powerful offering..."

    Besides, you'll find that big companies will not accept a risk of running their business on unsupported software. It's why they all spent billions moving off NT4, not necessarily because it was better software. Not to mention folks will buy new PCs with Win7 on it and confuse themselves at work. It's how MS make their money.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Tried windows 7 beta and really like it. When it is available I shall definately upgrade from XP to the 64bit version.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    I know, I was there too...But this is a different time with different products and a different market.

    Windows is now the same for home and business users, in them days home users had 95 / 98 and business users had NT4.

    The transition from NT - 2000 wasn't that hard for businesses because they were both good products and 2000 was designed to cater fully for an NT environment.

    The transition from 95 / 98 to ME for home users was a nightmare because ME was shit.

    So, for that reason I don't think your ME - 2000 comment stands up completely. I have no doubt in 5 years we'll all be using Windows 7 but until I see a real reason to do so, I won't be upgrading anything soon.

  33. Stephen Bungay

    No business case...

    "If you haven't been considering Windows 7, we think there are compelling reasons for you to take another look,"

    Umm... so tell us the reasons then. You can't, because there aren't any! I am a Windows 7.0 Beta Tester, I know of what i speak.

    Like Vista before it business will be hard pressed to make a case for switching to Windows 7.0. Spending precious cash with no real tangible benefits being driven to the bottom line is just not going to happen.

    Big business is failing under it's own weight (even Microsoft is laying off people and cutting back), large corporate expenditures for hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of desktop operating systems are not in the cards. I run a tech support company and 98% of my small business clients desktops are running on single core machines, some below 1GHz (most below 2 GHz), many with 512MB RAM. Simply put these small companies are hunkering down and staying put while large firms are cutting budgets and freezing spending. Now is not the time to launch a new OS.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Nicholas Ettel

    Took me a moment, but I suspect the sic is referring to the tense.

    Win7 doesn't _have_ anything at the moment. Not out here in the real world.

    It may very well have an "exciting and powerful offering" in the future, but not in the present tense...

    (Why Paris? Well, she likes her offerings exciting and powerful, allegedly.)

  35. Anonymous Coward

    no mention of cost of change

    Just pretend that we all love MS and windows 7 and we all plan to roll it out in our companies.... there is still a cost above and beyond the price tag.

    There's testing, hardware, training, support.

    Also forgetting the IT sales pitch and look at this like a normal business;-

    1) can people in my organisation communicate and generally function in their non-IT work?

    - probably.

    2) didn't we just buy new computers within the last 5 years

    - probably

    3) why do we need to upgrade the hardware and software just to keep doing the same work on the same spreadsheet / emails / word docs

    - not sure on that one.

    And that is before any custom apps that would need to at least be tested for win 7.

    MS is on the decline now there is real competition out there.

  36. Gaetan

    Windows 7 and network copy to/from XP

    Vista absolutely sucks when it comes to file copy over the network to and from an XP computer. I wonder whether this bug has been fixed in Windows 7 which from what I summarize is Vista with a different hat. Long live XP.

  37. Dave


    It's a feature to protect your network.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Vista = ME2

    (1) business won't be bothered with W7 if they have to completely retrain their workforce to the new interface (yeah, you do that over a couple of years as you roll out 300K new PCs).

    (2) Business won't be bothered with W7 unless all their apps work on it flawlessly. Doubt that's going to happen as they aren't working under Fista yet.

    (3) business won't be able to upgrade (nor will you unless the announcements have changed in the last couple of days) over XP to W7. And no, they're not going to buy Fista licenses just to upgrade old PCs to Fista to make the jump to light speed....erm, I mean W7.

    Thank you "feel the wrath..By Ray"...made my afternoon

    New interface = FAIL, new UAC = FAIL, build on Vista = FAIL, less filling and faster = OK

    Ballmer? He's not buying new PCs for everyone; he's not even got a good pricing plan; he's not got a clue. He'll get my XP when he pries it out of my cold, dead hands.

  39. Steve

    Re: (sic)

    "We're convinced Windows 7 HAS an exciting and powerful offering for our business customers, but we want to hear from you," (don't see a problem. They're not selling just software, but a lfe-changing experience)

    "We're convinced Windows 7 IS an exciting and powerful offering TO our business customers, but we want to hear from you," (and anyway, Windows is not an offering, it costs money)

    "We're convinced Windows 7 WILL HAVE an exciting and powerful offering for our business customers, but we want to hear from you," (makes the last bit confusing and well, it's just.....yuck.)

    IM(ES)HO, I would've bunged in a 'that' after 'convinced'. Also, I might have used a full stop instead of a comma (also in the preceeding paragraph). Call me old-fashioned.

    Loving Windows 7, though!

  40. Lager And Crisps

    ...feel the wrath of the Chair God!!!

    Plenty of Microsoft sycophants, nearly all 'Anonymous Coward'. Are there more than one of you, I meant to ask?

    Nice to see plenty of healthy skepticism before the release of Windows 7. Contrary to belief, if you are critical of a Microsoft product after it's re-launch (Vista is 99.99% of the same code as 7) you are not a born again loser.

    I'm sure that Microsoft has a stealthy monitoring system watching every man, woman and child on the planet. I say this because if anyone, anywhere and at any time has the audacity to question the quality of a Microsoft product or service, the aforementioned 'Anonymous Cowards' materialise out of the ether. They say that God moves in mysterious ways, either that or he is sitting uncomfortably and needs Preparation H.

  41. Jodo Kast

    Questions from us that MS ignores

    1. We would like to use Windows XP. Why is this a problem for you, MS?

    2. If Windows XP is not an option, we would like to use 'Windows XP' mode in Windows 7. Will this be an option?

    3. Why not build an OS that meets our requirements instead of dictating what you think our needs are?

  42. Frank

    re. Feel The Wrath

    Maybe this is a good time to make sure all your installations of XP are fully patched up, take some C:drive images and put them somewhere safe, then turn off auto-update and never update XP again. Also add Microsoft to your list of blocked domains.

    I'm just saying, you know. I'm not suggesting that future XP updates would cripple XP or anything like that.

  43. Mark

    @Coming to a network near you soon

    "I don't give a crap what any of you say but as soon as Windows 7 is released people will start to buy boxes and laptops with it on including in the enterprise.

    I have been Beta testing Windows 7 in a corporate environment and preparing for it. It runs well on moderate hardware (unlike Vista) and supports our in-hose software."

    Corporates buy hardware then image their standard operating environment onto it. What it comes with is wholly irrelevant.

    Unless all of the corporates' specialist software runs on it from the get-go it ain't happening no matter how many chairs Balmy Balmer throws. This didn't happen with Vista because they ballsed the release up - any sign of it being right this time?

    Most corporates also take the infamous sp1 stand-point. Whilst they don't want to be on an unsupported OS they don't want to be on the first cut either.

    Corporates also have the option (at least where I've worked) of support for XP beyond normal road-maps courtesy of volume licensing and bespoke agreements. It's expensive but it can happen.

    As I've stated before - try getting corporates to commit to massive outlay whilst they're hemorrhaging staff and cash in a downturn and see how well your company goes.

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