Microsoft has Windows 7 surprises up its sleeve
By Barry Collins
Posted on 2 Apr 2009 at 12:43
Microsoft is planning a couple of major new announcements around Windows 7 with the forthcoming release of the Release Candidate.
At a briefing at Microsoft's London headquarters today, the company's Windows OEM manager, Laurence Painell told PC Pro that there will be a "couple of additional, quite major announcements" in the coming weeks.
Painell wouldn't reveal when the Release Candidate was due to arrive, but leaked reports have previously suggested that it could come as early as next week, on 10 April.
Painell said the company is currently working hard to avoid the software and hardware compatibility issues that blighted the launch of Windows Vista.
Whilst the vast majority of Vista apps should work perfectly happily with Windows 7, Microsoft is aware that the "majority of businesses are still running Windows XP," according to Painell.
"There was some misconception that I [as a business] could skip Vista and go to Windows 7, and all those incompatibilities would go away," he said. "That's not the case."
Painell is nevertheless confident that the vast majority of business and consumer apps will work with Windows 7. He claimed 99% of the top 200 software titles are already compatible, with problems largely confined to apps that go deep into the operating system.
"The apps we find issues with are low level code, antivirus systems etc. We've worked with vendors to make sure they're ready for release," he said, adding that at least eight leading security vendors already have Windows 7 compatible software ready to buy or test.
Microsoft said it's also educating businesses on the use of technology such as its Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation (MED-V) software, which will help companies to continue running Windows XP software on Windows 7 desktops. "The app looks like it's running in Windows 7 [to the end user]," Painell claimed, minimising the need to retrain employees on using virtual desktops.
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