Microsoft Talks Up Windows 7 For Enterprises

In a Wednesday blog post, Gavriella Schuster, senior director for Windows Product Management, explained how the hawk-like attention Microsoft has paid to user feedback will benefit enterprises that migrate to Windows 7.

Microsoft learned with Windows Vista that not only do customers and partners want to be involved at an early stage of OS development, they also want Microsoft to map out -- and stick to -- a release time frame for Windows 7, Schuster said in a post to The Windows Blog.

During a six-month planning period for Windows 7 that Schuster described as a "vision phase," Microsoft focused on real-world business scenarios as opposed to just adding stand-alone features and technologies. Based on this feedback, Microsoft decided to include features such as BitLocker, AppLocker and Direct Access in the Windows 7 Enterprise SKU, according to Schuster.

"We spent a great deal of time talking and engaging with our customers and partners in order to really understand what's on their minds," Schuster wrote.

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Windows Vista was plagued by delays and changes during the development process that led to much-publicized compatibility woes, but Schuster said Microsoft has stuck to the time frame it laid out for Windows 7 and remains on track to ship Windows 7 within three years of Vista's release.

The Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program, which gives Microsoft's software and hardware partners access to beta software builds, development and testing tools, community interaction and technical documentation, is an example of Microsoft's heightened focus on partner feedback.

"We engaged with partners during the early stages of Windows 7 development, rather than waiting for the traditional beta time frame. This has allowed for a more seamless experience and greater compatibility in all areas," Schuster wrote.