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MS pitches Windows 7 at biz world ahead of Chrome OS release

Don't wait for Google rival Internet Explorer 9, urges Ballmer crew

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Microsoft is telling biz punters not to put off upgrading their operating system to Windows 7 while they wait for Internet Explorer 9 to be released.

Unsurprisingly, the software vendor is encouraging business customers to adopt Windows 7 ahead of the expected spring 2011 arrival of IE 9.

Redmond typically pushes customers to upgrade to its latest OS release quickly. It did the same with Windows Vista, which was hamstrung with compatibility problems at launch in 2006.

Even after Vista’s first service pack arrived, businesses snubbed the operating system.

With Windows 7 Microsoft isn’t facing the same stubbornness, as many businesses and consumers have warmly received its current OS.

But that doesn’t mean that all biz punters will rush to deploy Windows 7 in their organisations. Many are minded enough to wait for the release of the operating system’s first service pack, which is expected to rock up in the first half of 2011.

Indeed the release could even coincide with the arrival of IE 9.

Despite all that, Microsoft’s Rich Reynolds told customers yesterday not to sit on their hands.

“Until the final code of Internet Explorer 9 is released to the web (RTW), we recommend businesses first move to Windows 7 Enterprise with Internet Explorer 8 so they can immediately benefit from the enhanced security, manageability, web standardisation, and lifecycle support that Internet Explorer 8 brings to enterprise browsing, today,” he said.

“In addition, thanks to the high degree of application compatibility between the two browser versions, any investments today in deploying Internet Explorer 8 will put you on the best path to transitioning to Internet Explorer 9 in the future. Your Internet Explorer 8 migration investments will be preserved when you are ready to deploy Internet Explorer 9.”

But it's also interesting to see Microsoft pushing its business customers to effectively stick with Windows by hitting the upgrade button and renewing all important licence agreements now.

After all, Google's Chrome OS could arrive on some netbooks as early as next month, so perhaps Redmond is simply trying to stay ahead of the game, or else admitting it needs an insurance policy to keep Wall Street and its investors happy. ®

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