Feeds

Microsoft drops Win7 deadline for XP and Vista holdouts

Downgrade now, upgrade whenever

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft is giving users of Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional software extra time to put off their migration to Windows 7.

Before today, Microsoft said that after the release of the first Windows 7 Service Pack – which hit beta today and is due in the first half of 2011 – customers buying Windows 7 would no longer be able to downgrade to Vista and XP. But the company has now removed the deadline.

"Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7," Microsoft Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc blogged here.

The change comes as Microsoft pitched partners hard at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference on Windows 7. The message was that Windows 7 is Microsoft's most successful operating system ever, so bet on it and sell more.

At WPC, Microsoft drew heavily on analysts' numbers to predict new sales of Windows 7 in business.

Microsoft closed its financial year on June 30 so we're waiting to see how well Windows 7 sold to date. Up until March, there were signs that there was a lot of work left to do despite operating system's newness: revenue for Microsoft's Windows client business was lagging compared to the same period during 2009 — that was before Windows 7 officially launched.

One factor could be chief operating officer Kevin Turner's fervent belief in discounting — of which there's been plenty on Windows 7 — in the name of building market share and charging people more down the line.

Companies with which The Reg has spoken to in the last year, while enthusiastic about Windows 7, have been unable to upgrade for financial reasons: the budget's not been there. There have also been concerns about application compatibility. Last we checked, the second half of this year was when rollouts and pilots were set to begin for many.

Extending the downgrade option on Windows 7 means that Microsoft can still claim the Windows 7 sale and feed the operating system into the customer base, while letting customers continue to use the software they like until they're ready to move.

With businesses are apparently still pushing out Windows 7 slowly, the operating systems' first SP is a joint effort that focuses mostly on its server companion, Windows Server 2008 R2.

SP1 for Windows 7 is a wrap of updates available through Microsoft's Windows Update service combined with hotfixes based on feedback Microsoft said it has received from customers and partners.

Instead, SP1 updates dynamic memory for the server and RemoteFX for delivery of media to the client.

Dynamic memory is designed to let Hyper-V administrators pool available memory on a physical host and distribute it on any virtual machine on that host. The idea is to let admins change memory allocation without interrupting the service. RemoteFX lets the Windows Server deliver rich media such as full-motion video, portable graphics, and 3D applications to a client without overloading the client's capabilities.

You can download the beta here. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.