As Brandon just posted about, MSDN and TechNet Plus Subscribers can now download Windows 7.
Starting tomorrow August 7th, our Software Assurance/Volume License customers will be able to download the Windows 7 Enterprise Edition as well.
We are also planning an Enterprise Edition Evaluation version to be released in the near future. Watch for more details on that here in this blog. (Evaluation version was mentioned in Brandon’s previous post here
To ensure there is no confusion, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few points:
- While you may evaluate Windows 7 Enterprise for 90 days from the Volume License Web site, in order to deploy it into production now, you need to have an active Windows Client licenses covered by Software Assurance.
- If you don’t have Software Assurance, you should work with your local account representative or Large Account Reseller to purchase the licenses. As of September 1st you will be able to purchase product Volume License upgrades to Windows 7 Pro and be able to order the media for Windows 7 Enterprise available to Software Assurance customers.
I’d also like to answer some of the most asked questions I’ve been seeing: What features do I not have in Windows 7 Professional that I would have in Windows 7 Enterprise?
Windows 7 Professional does not support key features like DirectAccess, BitLocker Drive Encryption, BitLocker To Go, Enterprise Search Scopes, VDI experience enhancements, BranchCache, and Multilingual User Interface Language Packs. What is Volume Licensing?
Volume Licensing is the most affordable way to upgrade your existing PCs to Windows 7. If your PCs are not already covered by Software Assurance, you can purchase upgrade licenses through a Volume Licensing program to gain access to Windows 7 Enterprise.
Windows licenses available through Volume Licensing are upgrade-only licenses. They do not replace purchasing the initial Windows licenses for software that comes pre-installed on new PCs. Each desktop that runs the Windows 7 upgrade must first be licensed to run one of the qualifying operating systems (Windows Vista (Enterprise/Business/Ultimate) or Windows XP (Professional)—otherwise the PC will not have a valid, legal Windows license. What is Software Assurance?
When you acquire Windows 7 Professional licenses, either through Volume Licensing upgrades or through an OEM, you can cover those licenses with Software Assurance to get rights to Windows 7 Enterprise, that offers unique benefits such as, BitLocker Drive Encryption and Multilingual User Interface Language Packs, as well as access to the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. You can learn more about Software Assurance here
. What else do I get with Software Assurance?
· Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) -
MDOP is an add-on subscription license that provides innovative technologies to help better control the desktop PC, accelerate and simplify desktop PC deployments and management, and create a dynamic infrastructure by turning software into centrally-managed services. Learn more about MDOP here
Customers with Software Assurance for Windows also have access to the following additional benefits:
- Windows Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) for Software Assurance - Windows VECD is an annual device-based subscription that enables organizations to license virtual copies of Windows 7 (or prior OS versions) in a variety of user scenarios.
- Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs - Available exclusively to Microsoft Software Assurance customers, this small-footprint, Windows-based operating system solution is for customers with legacy computers running early operating systems who are not in a position to purchase new hardware.
- Virtual OS Rights - Use up to four instances of Windows in virtual OS environments for each license that has active Software Assurance coverage.
- New Version Rights - Receive new versions of licensed software released during the term of your coverage. If you have Software Assurance coverage for your PCs when Windows 7 is released, you will automatically receive rights to use Windows 7 Enterprise on those PCs.
- TechNet benefits through Software Assurance
- Extended Hotfix support
- 24x7 problem resolution support
- Enterprise Source Licensing Program
- Training vouchers
For more information on the benefits of Windows 7 Enterprise, I recommend reviewing this post
from Gavriella Schuster. Also, to understand more on how to assess Windows 7 Enterprise for your organization visit the Springboard Series on TechNet here
Windows 7 Enterprise is another example of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering continual innovation to enterprises around the globe. We look forward to working with you and continuing to share more information about Windows 7 and what it has to offer our business customers.
If you have more questions you can read our Guide to Windows Volume Licensing