With beta Build 7000 still fresh out of the oven and available for download at least for one more week, Microsoft is consistently dodging scenarios involving making plans for upcoming milestones
(Release Candidate (RC), Release to Manufacturing (RTM) and General Availability) public. But this has not stopped the Redmond company from creating and launching a Readiness Program, independent from the date Windows 7 itself will be ready, but focused instead on the ecosystem of hardware and software partners building solutions designed to integrate with the operating system. More specifically, the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program is addressed at Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), developers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs).
“We unveiled the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program, which provides the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 betas, tools and resources our partners need to build their expertise and understand the opportunities with these products,” revealed Mike Nash, corporate vice president for Windows Product Management. “The Ecosystem Readiness Program includes everything they need to make their products compatible and take advantage of the new features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that can make their products more desirable to our mutual customers.”
According to Nash, the new Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Ecosystem Readiness Program is not designed for partners to achieve compatibility with Windows 7 alone, but also to drive innovation when it comes down to the solutions developed for the operating system. Still, the program is indeed fueled by the need to get hardware and software productions fully compatible with the next iteration of Windows even before the platform is out the door.
“That said, as we continue to progress toward the release candidate and final version of Windows 7, we want our partners to test their Windows Vista-based products to ensure they run well on Windows 7. For partners who don’t yet have Windows Vista products, the opportunity is to build products that target both Windows Vista and Windows 7 because the architectures have similar foundations,” Nash added. “Windows Server 2008 R2 is a smaller incremental release to Windows Server 2008 and will also have a very high level of application compatibility.”
Microsoft has set up a cozy nook for software developers on MSDN – Windows Client
, and is telling hardware builders to access the Windows Hardware Developer Central
. Both destinations offer the same array of resources in an attempt to get the ecosystem of solutions orbiting around the Windows operating systems to transition to Windows 7. Participants in the program will be able to access Windows 7 client Beta
and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta
builds, but also product keys
, tools and toolkits for the operating systems, and additional resources including technical documentation and white papers.
“There is no better time to take advantage of the tools and resources available in the program. Perhaps the most important benefit is access to the new beta builds of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, along with the updates to the Windows Driver Kit, the Windows Logo Kit, the software development kit, and other resources,” Nash stated.