Maybe it's me and I've just not had enough coffee yet today (or maybe I've had too much, it's hard to tell sometimes, I just know I've not had the right amount) but who exactly is this 90-day Windows 7 Enterprise trial aimed at?
According to the Springboard Series blog, here's the deal:
This evaluation version is for IT Professionals who do not yet have access to Windows 7 RTM through one of the following means:
- Through a Software Assurance Volume License agreement
- Through MSDN and TechNet subscriptions
- Through Software Assurance agreements allowing the download of Windows 7 RTM via the Volume Licensing Download Center.
If you do not have access to licenses through one of the above means, this release will provide a means to have the final released code for evaluation and testing.
So it's aimed at IT pros without MSDN or TechNet and that don't have access to Windows 7 via a mechanism such as Software Assurance? Sorry, but these are some IT pros that the download is being aimed at.
Then there's the weasel phrases. Two to be accurate:
A limited number of licenses are available, so the download will only be available while supplies last.
Why? Sounds to me like using scarcity to drum up demand.
Following the 90 day evaluation period, IT Pros who wish to continue to use Windows 7 Enterprise will be required to purchase and perform a clean installation of Windows 7, including drivers and applications.
Ugh, that's messy ...
Sorry, but I really can't see why some pundits are gushing over this one.
[UPDATE: This in from a Microaoft spokesperson, which actually helps clarify things:
The Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial is designed for IT Professionals to trial the Enterprise SKU, particularly if they do not yet have access to Windows 7 RTM through a volume license with Software Assurance; or via licenses available to them via MSDN and TechNet subscription.
This is a great opportunity for IT Pros who don’t have Software Assurance Agreements yet but are interested in evaluating the Enterprise SKU of Windows 7. Windows 7 Enterprise provides advanced data protection & information access for businesses that use IT as a strategy asset. The trial is designed to serve as the final stepping stone for IT Pros looking to move to Windows 7 across their IT environment. It allows this group of professionals to finalize hardware and software testing on final RTM code prior to purchasing Windows 7.
In addition, this trial is not recommended for other customers who already have access to Windows 7 RTM code via alternative methods. MSDN/TechNet subscribers can access Windows 7 RTM bits via the TechNet site. Customers with existing Software Assurance agreements can download Windows 7 RTM via the Volume Licensing Download Center. Consumers will be able to purchase Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. (As you know, customers who already have access to Windows 7 bits through MSDN or TechNet, or are an existing Software Assurance customer, do not need to download this trial because they already have access to the Windows 7 RTM without a timeout period.)]