Windows 7 updates deliver more bang for your buck

Windows 7 updates deliver more bang for your buck

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As a GM for the Windows Commercial business, I regularly get to speak with customers across the world. I absolutely love this part of my job. It continues to be an exciting journey to see the progress you’re making with your Windows 7 deployments – City of Stockholm, National Instruments, BAA and others are seeing an average return on investment of up to 133 percent in just a year. I’m humbled by these great reports and the continued market traction we’re making. In fact as of February 1st, an industry report from Net Applications shows that Windows 7 global market share has grown to more than 21 percent… we see this as another great indicator of the positive footprint Windows 7 is having in the industry. So, for those of you who haven’t already made the move, now is a great time to get underway with your Windows 7 deployments.

I also am eager to understand what else we can do to deliver value whether it’s through additional resources, guidance or technology updates. In response to your feedback, I’m pleased to announce some new Windows technology updates and offer some guidance for consideration. Additionally, I want to share some personal accounts from a few of your industry colleagues about their Windows 7 stories.

Product updates to get the most of out your Windows experience

Today, we’ve officially released Windows 7 SP1 to our OEM partners. We’ve said all along there’s no reason to wait for SP1, but with its official arrival, now there really is no better time to migrate. Windows 7 SP1 includes minor updates, including some made previously available through Windows Update. SP1 also includes client-side support for RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory, two new virtualization features enabled in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. You can read more about the desktop virtualization updates on the Windows Server Team blog and get the quick run-down on the SP1 timeline here.

If you’ve already begun your Windows 7 deployment, you should continue with your roll-out while doing an evaluation of SP1 in a test environment then update your images when you’re ready. You also can easily deploy SP1 to existing Windows 7 PCs through management tools such as System Center Configuration Manager and Windows Server Update Services.

Now I want to touch on some updates designed to help you effectively manage your IT environment. You’ve shared with me the need to get the most out of your current infrastructure and how you’re turning to desktop virtualization to make this happen while using it to accelerate your Windows 7 deployments. We have some updates based on your feedback and aimed at simplifying the process:

  • A while back, we lowered VDI licensing costs by making desktop access rights a Software Assurance (SA) benefit.
  • When we released our application virtualization solution, App-V 4.6, we also reduced storage costs for VDI, making it possible to store a single copy of virtual applications on a SAN while deploying them to multiple virtual machines.
  • Now, with SP1, we are working to lower the operational expenses of VDI by optimizing VM density through the new Dynamic Memory functionality in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. More info here..
  • We are also pleased to announce Windows Thin PC (WinTPC), an upcoming SA benefit. WinTPC is a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7, designed to allow customers to repurpose their existing PCs as thin clients. PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops. WinTCP is expected to be available for download from the Microsoft Connect Site in Q1 2011.

On the horizon:

Security is another topic that I frequently get asked about. With Windows 7, we delivered built-in security features such as BitLocker, a full encryption of the operating system to help protect PCs in your organization. Overall, feedback has been positive; however some IT Professionals told us they wanted an easier way to manage BitLocker. We listened and we’re happy to announce that we’re in the development process to provide Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), aimed at addressing this. MBAM will build on BitLocker in Windows 7 and help simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployment, reduce costs while improving compliance and reporting of BitLocker. The MBAM beta is expected to be available in March and you can sign up here (Windows Live ID required) to be notified when it is released. MBAM will available through the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) at a future date.

Deployment Guidance

We also recognize the challenges you’re up against in terms of managing a technology infrastructure to meet the demands of your employees. We want to make sure you have the tools, resources and solutions at your disposal to simplify the process. This also includes making sure we provide the right guidance on how to factor in new Microsoft technology as part of your overall roadmap including Internet Explorer 9. Like others at the company, it’s been really exciting for me to see the wave of innovation behind the next generation browser and we want to set you up for success as you consider deploying it as part of your roadmap. Underscoring our original recommendation, our guidance is for businesses to wait until the final release of Internet Explorer 9 for commercial deployments. In the meantime, we recommend to first move to Windows 7 Enterprise with Internet Explorer 8 so you can benefit from the enhanced security, manageability, web standardization, and lifecycle support. As we’ve talked about too, deploying Internet Explorer 8 will put you on the best path to transition to Internet Explorer 9.

It’s all about you

I think the best way to understand the impact Windows 7 is having is always through your lens. This past fall, I talked about some stories that really resonated for me in terms of business value. One was about Samsung Electronics’ deployment. In October, we talked about the progress of Samsung’s migration, as they had reached 100% deployment throughout their offices in South Korea – bringing Windows 7 to the majority of their 150,000 employees. They’re well on their way to completing their global deployment by July of this year – what a great accomplishment! The best part of their story is that by standardizing on Windows 7, they have been able to reduce PC management costs by 20 percent.

Boeing also has an interesting story to tell given the complexity of their PC environment with more than 3,800 desktop applications. They’re particularly pleased with how easy it’s been to deploy Windows 7 with little disruption to their business even with all of their applications. Boeing expects to be 100% deployed to all 187,000 of their PCs by the end of 2012.

Energizer is another example we’ve talked about and what I like about their story is how Windows 7 has played a vital role in increasing their employees’ productivity – here’s a stat I love --- Energizer has increased worker productivity to the equivalency of adding 80 full-time employees back to their business!!

For those customers thinking about making the move to Windows 7, I hope the evidence is clear on the business value you’ll see as a result.

Keep the feedback coming…

At the end of the day, it’s about making sure you get the best business value out of your Windows 7 experience and we’re passionate about making sure you have the right tools and resources to accomplish this.

As always, we welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you.

- Gavriella

For more details about these customers, please visit Samsung, Boeing and Energizer’s case studies. Additional customer deployment case studies are available on the Windows Enterprise site.

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  • My understanding is that Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PC's is based on XP.  WinTPC is just a new updated version based on Windows 7.  WFLPC was available for SA customers and as she noted the same applies for WinTPC --- you get rights to it thru SA (Software Assurance).  

    My question to Microsoft is why not let organizations license Thin Client devices through SA like you can via desktops?  Thin Client devices must be licensed with VDA for virtual desktop (VDI) OS licensing.  But it's a pain when orgs want to transition from Desktops to Thin Client devices thru a rollout schedule and become out of compliance because the SA on a desktop cannot be applied to a Thin Client device.  I wish there was a way to allow a Thin Client device to step-up to be eligible for Win SA so that orgs can easily license this across the board whether they're using a "desktop" or a "thin client device."

    This new WinTPC is available to a desktop with Software Assurance coverage that you want to act as a "Thin client."  But yet an actual Thin Client device you buy does not qualify and must buy VDA.  That disconnect just makes licensing a pain across the board for an org.  

    I suggest that Microsoft, instead of being evolutionary with the licensing changes --- that they become more revolutionary to adapt to the rapid changes in real-world technology use cases and implementations.

  • Regina
    1 Posts

    "As always, we welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you. "

    I am also interested in the price and whether WinTCP is an replacement for TS or Remotedesktop-Clients.

    What Features will I miss when I chose WinTCP?

    Hope we receive some answers in the near future.

    Regards from Germy


  • The post is five days old with several comments but no reply from the author...a bit weak imho.

  • Quppa
    12 Posts

    Can you comment on the longer-than-usual delay between RTM (2010-11-19) and RTW (2011-02-22)? SP1 and SP2 for Windows Vista both took only a month to hit Windows Update after RTM.

    @7flavor: Your statistics are a bit off. Windows 7 has a worldwide usage share of about 25%, Vista 15% and XP 40% (rounding down). Vista and 7 combined account for just under half of all Windows machines connecting to the internet, and by the time IE9 is released it is likely that XP's share will be lower than that of NT6.x versions.

  • SergeSF
    6 Posts

    So, by deploying WinTPC as a client OS, we don't need to buy Win2008 Terminal Server access licences for these clients? Please clarify.

    And what is the price of WinTPC?

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    For a product that has reached 20%, Microsoft is not really doing a great job by supporting its upcoming IE9 browser on only this platform and Windows Vista that is now at 10%.

  • adacosta
    91 Posts

    Is Windows Thin PC similar to Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PC's you folks offered a few years back?

  • wqwalter
    10 Posts

    About 4 years ago during the Beta of VISTA Microsoft came out with Play To to allow digital content to be sent directly to DLNA compatable devices like XBOX from a Windows machine. For some reason Play To was not supported by Media Center in VISTA, it was also not included in Media Center in Windows 7. Please tell me that Windows 7 SP1 finally fixes this obvious omission of key functionality for users with Media Center, Xboxes, WD Media Pluses and other media devices that you would like to be able to send a movie or song to from your Media Center?