The long-awaited worldwide business launch of Microsoft Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 has been scheduled for November 30.
In Canada, on that day, a media and analyst event is being organized in Toronto.
It will be the only event in Canada to mark the official launch of the suites worldwide, according to a Microsoft Canada spokesperson. She said a specific date has not been finalized yet for the consumer launch of the products, but it will happen early next year.
Microsoft Canada executives at the Toronto event will include Phil Sorgen, president, Microsoft Canada, and Antoine Leblond, corporate vice-president, Office productivity program. Microsoft Canada partners and customers will also be present and demonstrate their deployments on stage and in one-on-one interviews.
Microsoft will also hold a series of new information sessions to introduce the suites to business customers throughout Canada.
“Now that the launch is imminent, these sessions will be more comprehensive than the ones we’ve held earlier,” the spokesperson said. One of these information sessions will be held prior to the launch in Edmonton, Alberta, on November 23.
It will be followed by sessions for corporate customers in other Canadian cities – Toronto (Dec. 5), Montreal (Dec. 7), Ottawa (Dec. 12), Victoria, B.C. (Dec. 14), and Regina, Sask. (Jan. 9, 2007).
At these events, Microsoft will provide an overview and demo the products. There will also be special sessions for developers, IT professionals and business and government customers, according to the Microsoft site.
A partner pavilion where Microsoft partners will demo how they use the new products will be a highlight at these events, the spokesperson said.
Though Vista was delayed several times, Microsoft assured customers that there would be no more delays and everything is on track to release Vista according to the current schedule.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. has tapped a group of consulting partners to help ensure companies’ applications will be compliant when they decide to deploy Windows Vista across the enterprise.
Through an initiative Microsoft has dubbed the Windows Vista Application Compatibility Factory, or ACF, Microsoft has trained a group of partners and is giving them access to a host of internal resources to help customers make sure their applications will work with Vista, said Dave Wascha, director of Windows client for Microsoft.
Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. are working with Microsoft on ACF. Microsoft picked these companies because they work globally and have “done deep and significant training around Windows Vista, specifically in enterprise environments,” he said. “They have the ‘red phone’ to Microsoft, as it were,” Wascha said.
As part of ACF, these partners will have access to Microsoft’s Knowledge Base, an internal database of technical information on products, as well as giving them exclusive guidance in their customer engagements to ensure Vista compatibility.
In a typical ACF scenario, the consulting firm would first take an inventory of all the company’s applications, and then assess where they are not compatible with Vista.Then Satyam, Tata or Wipro would work with a customer to devise a rollout plan for Vista, take corrective action to ensure all applications are compatible and then certify that all the applications work on the new OS.
Microsoft did not undertake this kind of effort around Windows XP, Wascha said, but the company realized that specific changes in Vista – such as security enhancements – will likely cause incompatibility problems for enterprises. ACF is designed to help ease customers’ woes in these areas, he said.
With files from IDGNS