Microsoft India rolls out Windows Vista, 2007 MS Office, Exchange Server 2007

Microsoft logo Around a month ago Microsoft announced that it planned to launch Microsoft Windows Vista on November 30th. And as promised, the software giant’s done so.

Microsoft India announced the business availability of its latest Windows Vista operating system, the Exchange Server 2007 and the 2007 Microsoft office system. To enable businesses to survive successfully in a world of instant communication, expanding information and constant change, the new products offer a perfect platform that will redefine the way people turn information into opportunity and growth.

According to Microsoft India, the announcement that Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release are available to volume licensing customers marks the beginning of the major product launch in its history and the first simultaneous release of Microsoft’s flagship products since the joint launch of Windows 95 and Office 95 more than a decade ago.

Exchange Server 2007 is scheduled for release to organizations with volume license agreements by the second week in December. Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system will be released to consumers and organizations without volume license agreements on Jan. 30.

Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said that the new versions of Windows, the Office release and Exchange Server are the result of an unprecedented collaboration between Microsoft and its customers. Real-life scenarios guided product development through to feedback from customers who volunteered to let Microsoft watch them work in more than 1 billion user sessions. During testing, customers from around the world downloaded more than 5 million beta versions of the three products and provided valuable feedback and suggestions.

“These products deliver game-changing innovation,” said Dhawan. “We’ve made extraordinary investments in research and development, and Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server have been tested more thoroughly than any other software products in history.”

“In India there has been an overwhelming response from both customers and partners with over 350,000 Office 2007 Beta 2 CDs and 500,000 Windows Vista Beta 2CDs accessed so far. Over 1500+ partners have been a partner of the partner readiness programs and 40+ solutions have been developed to address diverse business challenges. We are really excited by the response this platform has elicited and are confident of its impact on the business environment in India,” added Dhawan.

“Knowledge management is critical for our business. We have a number of customized portals and web applications built for various business requirements. The challenge was to make the right information available at the right place, at the right time and to the right person. Microsoft team helped us set up an enterprise search leveraging the 2007 System platform which enabled proficient searching on plethora of assets including files, mail folders, Web sites and applications across the organization. The solution currently under beta testing has significantly improved the productivity of our users,” said Rajagopal Sukumar, Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer, Cognizant Technology Solutions.

“Imaging was a big challenge for us because we run both XP and Windows 2000, have multiple hardware platforms and have employees using different language versions of the Operating System. With the number of mobile users traveling, data security is crucial. Imagine if a salesperson’s laptop fell into the wrong hands, all our proposals, legal agreements and other confidential data could fall into the wrong hands. Thanks to Vista Enterprise, we are looking at the number of images managed by us coming down from 18 to 1. With Windows BitLocker drive encryption we can now encrypt the complete file system of users, thereby ensuring that even if a laptop is lost or stolen, the information cannot go into the wrong hands. Finally with User Account Control, our administrators can ensure that users can use all applications without admin privileges, thereby increasing the security in our IT environment. We look forward to rolling out Windows Vista across our enterprise in the next few months,” said S. Gopalakrishnan, President, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Dhawan applauded the 640,000-strong worldwide partner ecosystem that has worked closely with Microsoft to prepare for today’s launch. In addition, many of the world’s leading solution integrators are prepared to deploy the new products for enterprise organizations.

S. Venkatramani, Head of India Geography, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd said, “The strategic alliance between TCS and Microsoft has always enabled us to combine our consultative excellence with software innovation capabilities of Microsoft. The 2007 Microsoft Office System platform with new servers and infrastructure has given us the opportunity to develop a diverse range of cutting edge solutions for a broad spectrum of enterprisers. While the innovative SigmaX will enhance organizations quality management capabilities, our retail solution will boost the operational efficiency and financial benefits for any new retail store.”

According to a Capgemini study commissioned by Microsoft, early adopters expect dramatic gains in productivity through capabilities that address core business issues in new ways.

Ken Edwards, Vice President of Capgemini, “Companies we’ve talked to are looking at driving major revenue increases, improved responsiveness to customers and improved sales team win rates with the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The early adopters have realized cost savings through process workflow automation, easier access to information, improved collaboration with colleagues, and lower costs of compliance. It’s all about creating better customer connections and empowering your people at less cost and with greater effectiveness.”

According to Microsoft, the new capabilities in Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system such as significant advances in graphics and pervasive support for XML and other and technologies provide the framework for creating new experiences for end users. Significant server investments make the 2007 Office system a powerful platform for developing business applications to eliminate the barriers between organizations, systems, processes and information.

According to Dhawan, the starting point for the new capabilities in Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 is Microsoft’s belief that people are the driving force behind business success.

“These products will enable companies to unleash the full potential of their people to build profitable relationships with customers, spearhead new innovations and drive business success,” said, Dhawan. “Although many customers will deploy these products separately, together they will fundamentally change the way companies get value from business information.”

Together, the three products focus on four critical areas:

  • Simplifying how people work together.
  • From new Windows capabilities designed for mobile workers and unified messaging enabled by Exchange Server 2007 to workflow and collaboration tools in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the new products revolutionize the way people work in teams and on the go.

  • Finding information and improving business insight.
  • Deep platform integration and availability of new search technologies and powerful, easy-to-use business intelligence tools will help enable employees to find and use information more easily, streamlining the path from idea to execution.

  • Helping protect and manage content.
  • Advanced content management and document retention tools combined with features to better protect data confidentiality make content authoring the starting point for automated business processes and regulatory compliance.

  • Enhanced security and helping reduce IT costs.
  • With enhanced security by design and by default, the new versions of Windows, the 2007 release and Exchange Server 2007 deliver breakthrough security features. They streamline deployment and management, helping reduce costs and enabling IT departments to focus on providing new capabilities that deliver strategic advantage.

    Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 also provide the core platform that will enable businesses to take advantage of the benefits of Internet-based software services. All three products incorporate key XML and Web services technologies that will help companies tap into online services and select the mix of on-premise and hosted applications to deliver the right balance of control, convenience, cost-effectiveness and security while helping increase productivity.

    “During the last decade, Windows 95 and Office 95 transformed the way people work,” said, Dhawan. “These three new products announced today are the most advanced work that Microsoft has ever done, and I believe they signal the beginning of a new wave of innovation that will have an even more profound impact during the next decade.”