Feeds

Vista, Office and Exchange 2007 to help struggling Brits

You've never had it so good

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft has pitched its first operating system in five years plus updates to productivity and collaboration tools as key to solving an apparent UK malaise.

Launching Windows Vista, 2007 Office System and Exchange Server 2007 in London, MGordon Frazer, Microsoft's UK managing director, claimed improvements to its software would increase UK workers' productivity, translating into improved economic performance.

He told press at the London leg of the official global launch: "The people that work in business need to be supported by their information tech tools... We believe our new software is about unlocking the potential of people."

The event was themed around information management under the company's "people-ready business". Microsoft hyped Office and Exchange and glossed over the delayed Windows Vista that most users can't get until January. The company has spent £10bn R&D on the trio - the "biggest launch to business Microsoft has ever done," according to Frazer.

He cherry-picked some interesting high-level data from The Conference Board and London School of Economics to "prove" the UK is lagging the US and Europe. The way to catch up? Get better desktop, personal productivity and collaboration software from Microsoft.

Eighty per cent of the productivity difference between the US and UK comes from use of IT, and UK workers' output lags those in France and Germany. "We are not as good as other countries at turning innovation into productivity." Frazer said.

Here comes the software bit... according to some Microsoft research 79 per cent of customers believe the new interfaces in Windows Vista, Office and Exchange will improve peoples' productivity, 75-80 per cent will spend less time scheduling meetings in Exchange 2007, and there'll be 60-65 per cent fewere clicks and mouse journeys in Office 2007.

In other words, Microsoft is using a new interface to expose many existing functions in Office that users didn't know existed or found too hard to use. Office replaces many menus with a "ribbon" and icons. Among the genuine improvements, integration between Office and Microsoft's CRM means that users can view business data at the same time as their Outlook diary and to-do-lists.

Also, there's improved search in Windows Vista and SharePoint, and online collaboration through Groove Workspaces for employees and partners, which offers threaded discussions, issue tracking, and document libraries shared with SharePoint. Microsoft stressed security by working virtually, and of using BitLocker in Windows Vista to encrypt a PC hard drive in case the machine is lost or stolen, plus the ability to specify who can access documents to prevent leaks and stolen IP. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.