As IVS you may be approaching your customers to talk about the value of you supporting Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. And for that discussion, you may be looking for resources that describe the value proposition for your customers.
Windows 7 will be generally available to customers around the world on October 22, and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be generally available on or before that date.
So what is story that applies for your customers?
- #1 Compatibility. Windows 7 is highly compatible with Windows Vista; Windows Server 2008 R2 is highly compatible with Windows Server 2008. So generally your customer’s existing applications with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will just work. Yet some compatibility breaks are inevitable due to innovations, security tightening, and increased reliability. So we recommend you test and then declare your compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. That’ll give your customers confidence that you’re ready too.
If you need to test Windows 7 in your environment-and ensure that your applications and hardware are ready-you can still download the Release Candidate (RC) anytime before August 20, 2009. Got the RC and need help? Experts on the Windows 7 Forums can help answer your questions. The forums also give you a way to share what you've learned with other people. In the US, join Front Runner.
Here’s the short story with links for you to dive deeper into the value specifically for your customers.
Windows 7 Value for Customers
- Make users productive anywhere. Employees can work with fewer interruptions because Windows 7 delivers solid performance and reliability from day one. With DirectAccess, mobile users can simply and more securely access corporate resources when out of the office. BranchCache makes users in branch offices with slow connections more productive by speeding access to frequently accessed files and Web pages.
- Enhance security and control. Windows 7 helps deliver increased flexibility with securing computers and data. Organizations can worry less about sensitive data on lost laptops or USB drives because, in addition to protecting internal hard disks, Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption encrypts external thumb drives and hard disks with BitLocker to Go, and provides recovery keys so that the data is accessible when needed. For enterprises that demand the highest levels of compliance, IT professionals can use new application-blocking tools in AppLocker to dictate which applications can run on user computers, providing yet another way to limit the risk of malicious software.
- Streamline PC management. Whether IT professionals manage and deploy desktops, laptops, or virtual environments, Windows 7 makes the job easier. Advanced image management and deployment tools enable IT professionals to add, remove, and report on drivers, language packs, and updates, and push those system images to desktops using less network bandwidth. New scripting and automation capabilities based on Windows PowerShell 2.0 reduce the costs of managing and troubleshooting computers. For enterprises making the leap to client virtualization, Windows 7 helps you more easily maintain virtual machine images with the same tools used for physical images and provide a richer user experience over remote connections.
Windows 7 Resources for Customer Value
Value for IT Departments:
Windows 7 for ISVs and Developers
In this four-part of this series, we explored the business reasons to support Windows 7 and how you can be sure your application is compatible, three features you should incorporate right away, and how you can lead your marketplace by adopting Windows 7 features.
- Getting Ready for Windows 7 Part 1: Why Be Ready for Windows 7?
- Getting Ready for Windows 7 Part 2: Microsoft Programs to Help Get Apps Compatible
- Getting Ready for Windows 7 Part 3: Three Must Do Features For Your Users
- Getting Ready for Windows 7 Part 4: Gain Strategic Advantage Using Windows 7 Features
You can light up your own features in Windows 7. Here’s the features described in these posts:
- Customize the taskbar
- Tasks and Jump Lists
- Windows 7 Ribbon
- Sensor and Location Platform
- PowerShell 2
- High Fidelity Graphics
- Device Stage
- Federated Search
- and more.
You can see the series of videos on MSDEV, A Developer's First Look at Windows 7.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Value for Customers
The key technology investments in Windows Server 2008 R2 include:
- Virtualization. With its server virtualization technology, Windows Server 2008 R2 enables you to reduce costs, increase hardware utilization, optimize your infrastructure, and improve server availability.
- Management. Windows Server 2008 R2 reduces the amount of effort you expend managing your physical and virtual data centers by providing enhanced management consoles and automation for repetitive day-to-day administrative tasks.
- Web. Windows Server 2008 R2 gives you the ability to deliver rich Web-based experiences efficiently and effectively, with improved administration and diagnostics, development and application tools, and lower infrastructure costs.
- Scalability and Reliability. With enterprise IT departments shouldering ever-heavier burdens, Windows Server 2008 R2 has been designed specifically with heavier workloads for both across server and client computing. On the server side, R2 includes architectural enhancements for more compute power and role componentization as well as specific features enhancing reliability and security.
- Better Together With Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 includes technology improvements designed with Windows 7 enterprise users in mind, augmenting the network experience, security and manageability.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Customer Resources
Windows Server 2008 R2 Resources includes guides, documents for each major feature, presentations, newsgroups and forums.
Reviewers guide goes into depth about each feature.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Features for ISVs and Developers
Here are the highlights of Windows Server 2008 R2 for ISVs and developers to exploit in your applications.
- Multicore/Manycore NUMA Readiness
- Server Core + (.NET, ASP.NET, or WWSAPI)
- Enterprise Network Solutions
- Virtualization and Hyper-V
For more details about each of the features, see How to Get Started Leveraging Windows Server 2008 R2 Features.
You can get started getting ready for Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Windows Server 2008 R2 Developer Training Kit.
Also, see Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 series of videos for developers on MSDEV.
Front Runner Supports Your Marketing Efforts
Sign up for the new Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Front Runner program. Front Runner is an early adopter program for ISVs in the US that helps you get your applications compatible with the latest Microsoft technologies. Front Runner provides you with access to Microsoft experts who can answer your questions and to training courses on developing for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Once you tell us that your application is compatible, you’ll get a range of marketing benefits to help you let your customers know you’re a Front Runner, including customizable marketing and PR campaigns as well as listings in Microsoft directories that are viewed by millions of people.
For ISVs outside the United States, you can participate in ISV App Compat.
A great way to keep up with what's going on is to sign up for one of our free newsletters. Not only will you get the scoop on the Windows 7 launch, you'll get useful news throughout the year.
- If you're interested in general Windows topics, Exploring Windows is the best choice.
- Want technical guidance and resources? Sign up to be a Springboard Series Insider.
- Developer? Get MSDN Flash.
Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation