Microsoft releases Windows 7 worldwide

As Microsoft launches its 'best operating system ever', analysts predict Windows 7 will see significant enterprise uptake and have a positive impact on the PC industry

Microsoft released Windows 7, the latest version of its market-dominating operating system, around the world on Thursday.

The launch came one year after Microsoft said its next operating system would be sold under its code-name of 'Windows 7', and almost 10 months after the OS's first beta release.

"The development of Windows 7 was a huge collaborative project that involved listening to the feedback from millions of people around the world," Microsoft UK consumer business group lead, Leila Martine, said in a statement. "We are grateful to all the customers, partners and developers who helped make Windows 7 what we believe is the best Microsoft operating system ever."

New features in the latest version of Windows include a redesigned taskbar that allows thumbnail previews of open applications, and a virtualised XP mode to ensure compatibility with older applications. Windows 7 also boots faster than its predecessor, Vista.

According to Ovum principal analyst Jens Butler, Windows 7 will see significant enterprise adoption in 2010, which will in turn have a positive impact on the entire PC industry, including hardware suppliers, application developers and systems integrators.

"From a buyer's perspective, Ovum expects the Windows 7 launch to be an opportunity to undertake some serious housekeeping, especially for organisations that have stuck with XP," Butler said in a statement.

Butler said Windows 7 would give Microsoft a chance to rebuild some of the trust lost through Vista, which failed to displace its own predecessor, XP.

"Even with that legacy, expect enterprise uptake and migration programmes to start to appear during the first two quarters of 2010, with greater acceleration once budgets become released on the back of the green shoots of recovery, and when XP support is phased out by Microsoft's channel partners," Butler added.

Also on Thursday, rival analyst firm Forrester issued its predictions for UK enterprise uptake of Windows 7.

Based on a survey of British PC decision-makers at enterprises and small businesses, Forrester said nearly two-thirds of those polled were planning a migration to the new operating system at some point, with 53 percent intending to have most of their PCs running it within a year.


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