Microsoft Serves Up Windows 7 To MSDN, TechNet3:41 PM EST Thu. Aug. 06, 2009
Microsoft Thursday reached an important milestone by making Windows 7 available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, just over two weeks after releasing Windows 7 to manufacturing.
Microsoft's volume licensing customers -- i.e. businesses -- with Software Assurance subscriptions will be able to download the Windows 7 RTM on Friday through Microsoft's Volume License Service Center (VLSC), said Brandon LeBlanc, a communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, in a Thursday blog post.
Volume licensing customers without SA will have to wait until Sept. 1, and Microsoft Gold and Certified partners will be able to download it from the Microsoft Partner Network portal on Aug. 16. Consumers and smaller businesses will be able to get their hands on Windows 7 when Microsoft officially launches it on Oct. 22.
Now that hardware and software partners can get Windows 7, they'll be able to start working to meet the lofty projections that have been tied to the shiny new OS. IDC predicts that for every dollar of revenue that Microsoft gets from U.S. sales of Windows 7 until the end of 2010, partners will reap $18.51 in related products and services revenue. As a whole, Microsoft partners will generate about $110 billion in products and services around Windows 7, according to IDC.
Microsoft's channel partners are getting ready for Windows 7 by offering Windows 7 related services to customers. These include conducting reviews of customers' existing hardware and software infrastructure, as well as deeper evaluations that give customers detailed information on total cost of ownership for Windows 7.
From the beginning of Windows 7 development, Microsoft has focused on getting software and hardware partners involved in the process, which is something it failed to do with Windows Vista. As a result, Microsoft has been able to adhere to a predictable development schedule with Windows 7, and company executives have pointed to this as one of the main reasons why things have gone so smoothly.
Of course, Microsoft and its partners will have to contend with weakness in the PC market that has been hammering Microsoft's revenue for the past several quarters. Microsoft gets 80 percent of its Windows client revenue from new PC sales, but the sagging economy has led consumers and businesses to put off buying decisions. All of this means that many companies that skipped Vista and are still using XP will likely continue in a holding pattern until at least early next year.
Nonetheless, industry analysts expect companies to eventually make the leap to Windows 7. By the end of 2010, IDC predicts that more than 177 million copies of Windows 7 will be installed worldwide, with 60 million of those in the U.S. Windows 7 shipments will reach 272 million in 2013, according to IDC.