Leading Businesses Make the Move to Windows Vista
Microsoft releases new tools and services to help businesses better plan for, test, deploy and manage the company’s latest operating system.
ORLANDO, Fla.— This week at the 15th annual Tech•Ed 2007 conference, Microsoft Corp. discussed how leading businesses such as Cerner Corp., Charter Communications and Continental Airlines Inc. are making the move to Windows Vista® to lower IT costs, improve security and enhance worker productivity. The company also announced new tools and services to help customers migrate to Windows Vista, including the Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs, Windows Vista-ready components of the Microsoft® Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, the recently released Virtual Hard Disk Test Drive Program for Windows Vista Enterprise Edition, and an update to the Microsoft Application Compatibility Factory service.
“Businesses typically take a cautious approach to deploying a new operating system release,” said Al Gillen, research vice president, System Software at IDC. “That’s true with Windows Vista as well, but we’re seeing more businesses begin the testing and planning process, which will lead to more companies investing the time and effort to roll out the new operating system across their organizations.”
Making the Move to Windows Vista Easier
Making the move to a new operating system is not a trivial undertaking for companies with hundreds or even thousands of PCs and applications; a successful transition requires a planning, testing and deployment process that minimizes the requirements placed on IT staff and the disruption of end users’ work. Having the right resources available to streamline this process is critical, which is why Microsoft continues to make new services and tools available to aid businesses in their deployment efforts. At Tech•Ed, Microsoft is announcing the addition of the following services and tools:
Virtual Hard Disk Test Drive Program for Windows Vista Enterprise Edition. This is a 30-day evaluation of Windows Vista Enterprise Edition that will allow for faster replication of businesses’ testing environments. No hardware is required; instead, customers have a quick and easy way to evaluate partner software in a safe, contained environment with no installation and configuration hassle by taking advantage of Microsoft’s virtualization technologies. In addition, customers can test-drive Windows Vista online through both Microsoft’s Virtual Labs (http://www.microsoft.com/virtuallabs) and the Windows Vista Test Drive (http://www.windowsvistatestdrive.com). More information about the VHD Test Drive Program is available at http://microsoft.com/vhd.
Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs. DET provides guidance and tools to help protect companies’ vulnerable data, as well as centrally configure, deploy and manage encryption settings on mobile PCs. The methods outlined in DET show how to optimize a data protection strategy using Windows BitLocker™ Drive Encryption and the Encrypting File System. Components of DET include the Executive Overview, Security Analysis, Planning and Implementation Guide, and EFS Assistant Toolkit. More information about DET can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/guidance/clientsecurity/dataencryption/default.mspx.
Windows Vista-ready components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance. The SoftGrid Application Virtualization, Advanced Group Policy Management, Asset Inventory Service and Desktop Error Monitoring components of MDOP will be available to businesses on July 1. MDOP is a set of advanced desktop management technologies that helps Software Assurance customers build a dynamic Windows®-based IT infrastructure, and will enable businesses moving to Windows Vista to mitigate their application to application regression testing, optimize their application management and capitalize on the new Group Policy settings available in Windows Vista. More information about MDOP is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/jun07/06-TechED07PR.mspx.
Application Compatibility Factory. Microsoft’s ACF connects enterprise customers with partners that deliver high-volume, low-cost application compatibility and remediation services for line-of-business applications. Since its initial launch this past fall, six partners have joined on to provide the service: HP, HCL Technologies Ltd., Infosys Technologies Ltd., TATA Consultancy Services Ltd., Satyam Computer Services Ltd. and Wipro Technologies. Collectively, ACF partners have already identified or remediated thousands of applications for businesses using the service. More information about ACF can be found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/bb510132.aspx.
Large Enterprises Benefiting From Windows Vista Deployment
Many businesses are already reaping the benefits of adopting Windows Vista. For example, Continental Airlines, the world’s fifth largest airline, already has deployed 1,000 Windows Vista-based desktops and is upgrading between 7,000 and 10,000 desktops by the end of the year.
“Cost-effectiveness is crucial to Continental Airlines,” said Eric Craig, managing director of IT Engineering for Continental Airlines. “Windows Vista improves the overall capabilities and efficiency of an IT infrastructure. The richness of the platform reduces the burden on development, the new desktop features make back-office workers more productive, and task-oriented PCs are easier to configure and change as Continental requires. Windows Vista deployment tools alone are saving us 17 percent in manpower costs for PC refresh and repair functions.”
Other leading customers making the move include these (additional customer quotes can be found at the end of the release):
Charter Communications provides digital entertainment and communication to more than 5 million homes. The company is upgrading 13,500 computers to Windows Vista because it expects to see great value in the standardized computing environment the new operating system brings.
Cerner Corp. is a leading provider of healthcare information technology solutions, and it is upgrading its 7,500 portable computers to Windows Vista to better support its customers, as it anticipates a large percentage of its customer base will also upgrade to Windows Vista.
Tata Consultancy Services is an information technology company that provides tools for helping global organizations address business challenges. TCS currently has deployed Windows Vista on 2,550 desktops and is part of the Application Compatibility Factory program.
“Most large organizations have told us that they are moving to Windows Vista because of the core security, mobility and efficiency gains it can deliver, and we think they’ll continue to see great value as they roll it out to even broader portions of their users,” said Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows Client Product Management for Microsoft. “The tools that are available to customers should give any business what they need to jump-start their Windows Vista deployments today.”
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