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Windows 7 launches, offers salvation from Vista

With Windows 7, IT shops now have a desktop operating system they can look forward to, plus, they gain a handful of administration tools. See more articles related to Windows 7 adoption and migration, application compatibility, and security.

Microsoft Corp. officially launched Windows 7 this week, giving Windows shops that skipped Vista a desktop operating system they will actually want to deploy.

Many IT administrators avoided Vista because of real or perceived issues, so when they bought new machines, they downgraded to XP, said Michael Cherry, an analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based independent analyst firm Directions on Microsoft.

More on Windows 7:
Your questions answered; the Windows 7 upgrade quandary

Guide to converting from Windows XP to Windows 7

Windows Vista users get little pricing relief on Windows 7

Check out more of our Windows 7 tips, news and expert advice

 "Now they can buy both the latest hardware and the latest supported OS from Microsoft," Cherry said. "Microsoft had to ship an OS that customers would buy. They have done this [with Windows 7]."

XP shops might delay upgrading because Windows 7 requires a clean install and possibly new hardware, since it requires more CPU power, memory and disk space than XP. Application compatibility won't be an issue the way it was with Vista because Windows 7 includes XP Mode, but XP Mode also requires additional disk space.

Vista shops could be quicker to upgrade to Windows 7 because Microsoft corrected many of the Vista annoyances in Windows 7, and those users have a smooth upgrade path.

Still, most IT pros will take their usual conservative approach to an OS migration. In fact, the majority won't deploy Windows 7 until six months after its release, according to the 2009 Windows Purchasing Intentions Survey conducted by In that survey of over 800 IT professionals, 35% of respondents said they have no immediate plans to move to Windows 7.

IT shops that do move to Windows 7 immediately will have 18 months to downgrade to previous versions of Windows.

Windows 7 features, pricing
When IT administrators are ready to roll out Windows 7, they will gain a number of features tied to Windows Server 2008 R2, which was also released this week. These include BrancheCache, which gives workers at remote branches better access to data, and DirectAccess, which gives clients access to corporate networks without a VPN connection.

Windows 7 also includes enhanced administrative controls, such as BitLocker, which lets administrators encrypt and set policies for removable drives. also In addition, it includes AppLocker, a tool in Windows 7 that lets IT administrators choose which applications can be used by which users and on which machines. It also includes a more robust Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool set.

Windows 7's estimated retail pricing for upgrades is $119.99 for Windows 7 Home Premium, $199.99 for Professional and $219.99 for Ultimate.

 Here are more tips, news and expert advice regarding Windows 7:

Adoption and migration

Desktop management and support

Security in Windows 7

Let us know what you think about this story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.

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