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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 Windows 7, we think there are compelling reasons for you to take another look," Windows product management team member Gavriella Schuster has blogged.

"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.

Schuster used the blog to draw attention to planned Windows 7 features that should be of interest to customers.

These include changes in PC management, mobile, and security. Schuster called out scripting and automation capabilities in Windows PowerShell 2.0 she said would help trouble shoot and manage PCs, features such as BranchCache, Direct Access and search for mobile and remote working, and the inclusion of BitLocker to secure mobile machines and AppLocker to specify access rights through group policy.

Schuster framed the features using the usual set of marketing props of businesses need to reduce their costs and get improved return on investment, stunning insights patiently distilled from lengthy research among more than 4,000 of the company's customers.

The attempt to wake enterprise users to Windows 7 is curious given Microsoft has - officially at least - maintained its successor to Windows Vista is not in anyway shape or form finished and won't be ready for delivery any time this year.

Still, Microsoft faces an uphill task in shaking of enterprise inertia. Just over two years since Microsoft launched Windows Vista, less than 10 per cent of PCs in the enterprise are running the operating system. The majority are comfortable on the company's eight-year-old Windows XP.

Separately, 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. ®

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