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Windows® 7 adoption: Is waiting a viable strategy?
An interview with Lenovo's ThinkVantage Technologies (TVTs) team
John MeseLenovo Software Engineer
What, you don't have 10 PCs at your desk? Lenovo software engineer John Mese works to integrate Windows 7 and Lenovo ThinkVantage Technologies for seamless performance — and he leaves no stone unturned.
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7 just around the corner, IT leaders are facing a familiar choice: Adopt the new operating system now? Or wait until the dust clears and make the decision later? After some past experiences, wait-and-see feels like a comfortable choice.

But avoiding a change isn't the only path to comfort. Embracing a change with confidence is another. The truth is, Windows 7 does offer substantial advantages in the right hands. Perhaps the question should be: How can I make this change now — and get it right?

A close relationship that pays dividends
Like many OEM companies, Lenovo prizes its working relationship with Microsoft. As Windows 7 has neared launch, that relationship has kicked into high gear, leaving Lenovo uniquely positioned to deliver on the new OS and its benefits. It's an advantage that wasn't developed overnight.

Just ask Lenovo software engineer John Mese — but not during one of his frequent trips through the Seattle airport. He's too busy weathering the groans of fellow travelers as he inches up to the security checkpoint with six or more notebook computers in his carry-on.

"I've been working with Microsoft on Win 7 performance since late last year," he says. "Through our testing, we've got a great sense of what performs better. We can make better choices."

Mese and his team focus on Lenovo's ThinkVantage Technologies (TVTs) — the suite of apps that make power management, connectivity, security and other functions easy for users to handle. In anticipation of Win 7, they've fine-tuned the TVTs so that the OS and the apps get the most out of each other. "We give users the advertised MPG," Mese says. "With our close involvement with the development of Win 7, our TVTs embrace and extend the OS. Lenovo makes Win 7 sing."

The image of performance
If the OS sings, it's the disk image that provides the beat — the pre-loaded basic software and configurations that govern how well the computer operates. The Win 7 image design expertise that Lenovo has developed during the OS's development now carries over to Lenovo customers, who can engage Lenovo Services to design and optimize disk images for their own Win 7 rollouts. With other offerings like upgrade and deployment support, it's Lenovo Services that can melt the anxiety out of any organization's OS migration.

As a design, Win 7 delivers great performance — Lenovo benchmarks show it's faster than Windows XP when used on the same hardware. But real-world performance depends on proper configuration of the OS and installed applications in a way that lets them complement each other. That's where Lenovo's expertise pays off.

"The Win7 image we provide is almost as fast as a clean install," Mese explains — that is, a computer that runs fast because it has nothing loaded onto it. "Even if you take the machines we image for business and compare them to consumer machines with more features, our performance competes head-to-head."

Ultimately, the benefits of using Lenovo Services to optimize Win 7 deployment reach every corner of an enterprise. If you're in the IT shop, the service jumpstarts your projects, takes low-value logistical "noise" off your desk, and gives you more time to look like a hero tackling bigger jobs. Decision-makers who focus on business operations benefit by receiving all the productivity improvements that Win 7 promises — which isn't the case with less optimal imaging — and less disruption during the transition. And a Win 7 adoption supported by Lenovo Services will win hearts in accounting because it requires a smaller commitment of resources, less rework, and lower labor costs.

The benefits are meaningful
Why move to Win 7? Lenovo's work on the leadup to the launch gives its engineers firsthand knowledge that the new system's benefits are real. Startup and shutdown time are considerably faster. Network, power and footprint improvements will have a measurable impact. And the user experience is like nothing Microsoft has delivered to date. Much of the benefit Lenovo is offering its hardware and Services customers, from user experience to technical specs, is based on input the company offered to Microsoft during development.

Lenovo's ThinkVantage Technologies help extend the benefits of Windows 7 right out of the box, with many features designed specifically to take advantage of new capabilities introduced in the new version. From new power management capabilities to network connectivity, rescue & recovery, and password managers, Lenovo users accustomed to TVT performance will find something new to love in the Win 7 version of the popular application suite.

Many are outgrowing XP
Why not stick with Windows XP? The cost of supporting the OS is rising quickly — and support resources are on the decline. And with extended support plans ending in April of 2014, many companies are already considering their options. Many newer devices are not supported by XP, which means that many enterprise users aren't getting the full benefit of all the tools that are available to them. Put simply, many organizations are outgrowing XP.

In anticipation of this shift, Lenovo is already working closely with many clients to plan their enterprise needs in advance of Windows 7 adoption. Its in-house imaging services team can help match your organizational goals with machines that deliver the right results, to the right people. The result? Dramatic gains in efficiency and performance, tailored down to the individual.

No time like the present
While it may be tempting to advocate a wait-and-see approach to Windows 7, many leading organizations are already deciding it's time to make the move now. The new OS can help businesses stay a step ahead of the competition in performance, efficiency and effectiveness — if it's implemented properly.

No matter how good your software is in the box, it doesn't help you if it doesn't deliver results running on your actual hardware. The key is having the right support resources in place to keep the transition on time, on budget, and on strategy. If you're contemplating a self-managed Win 7 adoption, those are big questions. If you partner with Lenovo Services, they turn into answers — and let you get back to work.

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