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10/3/2011
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Windows 7 Takes Flight At Korean Air

Asian carrier expects to have migrated its entire PC infrastructure to the most current version of Microsoft's OS by year end.

Top Features Absent From Windows 7
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Slideshow: Top Features Absent From Windows 7
Despite the buzz surrounding Windows 8 in recent weeks, the fact is most enterprises have yet to fully implement Windows 7 in their desktop environments. That's beginning to change, however, as retirement looms for Windows XP. Korean Air is the latest organization to upgrade to the most current version of the Windows OS, Microsoft said Monday.

Korea's flag carrier will have converted virtually 100% of its desktop systems for more than 19,000 employees to Windows 7 by the end of the year. IT officials at the airline said deploying Windows 7 across the board gives it a more consistent IT footprint across its worldwide operations--a prerequisite for keeping desktop-related expenses in check while supporting future growth.

"Meeting our objectives required an overhaul of our IT systems," said Chuck Pilmoon, general manager of Korean Air's information systems department. "Moving to Windows 7 provides us with the ability to deliver consistent IT standards and tools across the company without compromising our desire for greater efficiency."

Key to the rollout are management tools and services built into Windows 7, particularly MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). MDOP includes App-V, a tool that virtualizes application delivery so IT managers do not need to physically touch PCs that are due for an upgrade.

And MDOP's Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit lets them remotely diagnose and troubleshoot client-side problems.

"With these technologies in place, the company will be on trajectory toward market expansion and greater operational excellence," said Pilmoon.

More enterprises will soon have to follow in Korean Air's flight path, as Microsoft is set to phase out all support for Windows XP (only a handful of businesses made the move to XP's most immediate successor, Windows Vista) by 2014. Last month, company officials said there would be no reprieve for XP, as there has been in the past.

"We are end-of-lifing XP and Office 2003 and everything prior, in April 2014," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, during a meeting with financial analysts in mid-September, when software maker offered its first in-depth Windows 8 preview.

"So for all those companies that have the old products that haven't quite started the refresh, guess what? This has been a great product, XP has been a wonderful product; great TCO has been given. It's now time for it to go," said Turner.

More than half of all Windows PCs in the consumer market are now running Windows 7, according to Microsoft, but most enterprises continue to run XP. But once Microsoft formally retires Windows XP, it will no longer offer support, security updates, or media for the operating system.

That's why the company says the time is now for businesses to begin mapping out their migration to Windows 7.

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