05 June, 2009

Windows 7 upgrade to be available to Vista users

By Susan Ferroa, channelnewsasia.com | Posted: 04 June 2009 1416 hrs

090604-Windows7 Windows 7 desktop

If you've been tinkering with thoughts of a new PC but holding out for a device that will come loaded with Microsoft's new operating system Windows 7, the good news is - your dilemma is resolved.

Microsoft has revealed that it will offer an upgrade option so that PC makers can offer customers the ability to purchase a Windows Vista-based device and install Windows 7 when it’s ready.

Steve Guggenheimer, the OEM Division's Vice President also said that the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) code will be available to Microsoft partners in the second half of July while Windows 7 will become generally available on 22 October, which is much earlier than speculated when the Release Candidate (RC) was issued in early May.

It's rumoured that the upgrade to Windows 7 option could come free to Vista users.

Microsoft however would only say that customers could be eligible for a low cost (or potentially free) upgrade to Windows 7 and that option is open to those with Windows Vista Home Premium and above.

It also went to say that implementation will be managed by specific OEMs and retailers, with costs to consumers and other details varying according to the OEM and retailer.

“As we’ve said many times, quality is our primary goal,” Guggenheimer said during a keynote address at Computex 2009 in Taipei.

"We’ve received great feedback from our partners who are looking forward to offering Windows 7 to their customers in time for the holidays.”

Guggenheimer's OEM division works with hardware manufacturers to integrate various Microsoft technology in PCs, laptops, mobile handsets and other devices.

The new Windows 7 should be a good fit into the overall big picture where Windows offers improvements to people’s lives while technology enables them to communicate better, make tasks simpler and new things possible.

This is especially in the case of the netbooks - the super-small and light notebooks.

“A year ago when these smaller PCs first came onto the scene, many in the space were saying consumers wouldn’t want or need these devices to be full-featured,” Guggenheimer said.

“In fact, the exact opposite turned out to be true. Consumers really do want small notebook PCs to work like their laptops and desktops.”

The problem was, Windows Vista was such an intense Operating System that most netbooks and even notebooks, couldn't perform as expected, putting the already disfavoured OS even higher on the to-be-avoided list of most consumers.

With the introduction of Windows 7 several OEMs have already announced plans to issue new and small notebooks designed around the new OS which runs much lighter in terms of resource, but is as rich in features as the Vista.

The good performance and response to the Windows 7 Beta and RC, were just what hardware firms had been waiting for.

“They are finding that even on the scaled-down hardware of the small notebook PC platform, Windows is running smoothly and delivering the experience consumers are asking for because it just makes things simpler and tasks easier,” said Guggenheimer.

Even software firms have jumped on the Windows 7 bandwagon.

Security software providers have already tweaked their codes to offer Windows 7 test programmes which can be found via Microsoft's Windows 7 site here for downloading.

So far, Norton's suite from Symantec seems to work the best, with features similar to the 2009 suite of security software for Windows XP and Vista users.

If you want to test out Windows 7 itself, the release candidate is available for download here and the assurance has been, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to do it - but do back up your data before taking the first step.

- CNA/sf

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source article here.

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