Feeds

Microsoft drops Win7 deadline for XP and Vista holdouts

Downgrade now, upgrade whenever

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.