We'll Soon Know If Windows 7 Can Fight in the Wild

Critical bug or no critical bug, Windows 7 hit the street yesterday for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Today, IT shops with Volume License Software Assurance contracts can download Windows 7 RTM in English via the Volume License Service Center.

(Ed. – Microsoft officials said this afternoon there is no update to its response to the alleged Windows 7 bug.)

Now we’re going to see how Windows 7 can stand up to the coming storm of cockeyed end-users, networking spaghetti, malware, bad guys and other corruption on the Internet. And we are going to hear the inside stories from the adopters who matter most, IT shops that until now have tested but have been contractually forbidden to speak.

Judging by today’s rush to the MSDN servers – reports say Microsoft was forced to redirect users to alternative sites in order to keep MSDN up and running – it won’t be long before we know if Windows 7, caged in development all these years, can fight in the wild.

Sheraton Hotel & Resorts is one of the first to test the waters as it upgrades public-use computers to Windows 7 in the lobbies of its hotels as part of its Link@Sheraton program.

The plan is not without purpose, however, as it represents a pragmatic jump into the shallow end of the Windows 7 pool. The rollout is being used as a testing ground for a possible future corporate deployment, according to Mark McBeth, vice president of IT for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, parent company for Sheraton. Watch for Sheraton's actions in the future because they will tell just how big a bet the company will let ride on Windows 7.
- john fontana, sr. editor, network world

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