Dell says it already helped several companies migrate to Window 7, which ships Thursday.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

October 16, 2009

2 Min Read

Dell introduced consulting, management and support services for Windows 7, which Microsoft plans to release this week.

The services, introduced Friday, are designed to help companies migrate to the new OS. Dell's Latitude laptops, OptiPlex desktops and Precision workstations will ship with Windows 7 on Oct. 22, the day the OS is released, Dell said.

Dell says it designed, deployed and supported early adopter programs for Windows 7 at several customers, including accounting firm Baker-Tilly, online sports betting company Betfair and Hoover City (Alabama) Schools. Dell also has more than a thousand Windows 7 pilot users internally.

Dell's new services begin with a readiness assessment that uses electronic discovery, Web-based surveys, comparative data and reference architectures to help organizations understand the requirements and potential problems of migrating to Windows 7.

The assessment includes determining application and hardware compatibility and determining the effect on business processes, end users and server and network infrastructures. The assessment is used in designing an implementation plan, including providing training for end users and IT support staff.

Many businesses have held on to their Windows XP PCs, delaying upgrading during the economic recession. In addition, many organizations decided to skip deployment of the buggy Windows Vista, Windows 7's predecessor.

With so many aging PCs still in use, organizations will likely embrace Windows 7, starting next year, analysts say. The new OS is seen as a superior product to Vista.

The latest announcement reflects Dell's aggressiveness in the services market, which the company is targeting as a way to broaden its offerings beyond just hardware. Dell competes with more diversified rivals, including Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

To that end, Dell last month said it will buy tech services company Perot Systems for $3.9 billion. Dell plans to close the deal in its November-January fiscal quarter.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Dell's $3.9 billion buy of Perot Systems. Download the report here (registration required).

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