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Dell Accelerates Windows 7 Deployment

On Friday, Dell will release the latest version (3.3) of the Kace K2000 Deployment Appliance, its Microsoft Windows 7 deployment and Windows XP migration product that will feature
policy-based migration, offline migration and continuous driver feed updates. Pricing starts at $4,500 for the first 100 nodes or $39,000 per appliance; educational pricing is also available.

Acquired by Dell in February, Kace currently has 2,300 customers and more than 1.2 million machines under management. Although Microsoft has extended XP support to 2014, Dell says the typical 14- to 18-month upgrade cycle means organizations should start their migration sooner rather than later.

The K2000 enhancements address many of the pain points associated with Windows 7 migration, from determining hardware and driver compatibility to backing up and transferring end-user data. It integrates with the Kace K1000 Management Appliance, which was enhanced in May and will get another refresh shortly, say Dell officials.

According to a new Dell survey, 71 percent of organizations plan to migrate to Windows 7 and 38 percent have already started. The company is betting that a solution that simplifies and speeds up the migration will draw strong interest.

Steve Brasen, senior analyst, Enterprise Management Associates, says the adoption is well under way. "Microsoft is currently seeing the fastest adoption of any OS in their history with Windows 7, and has achieved a 20 percent share of deployed desktops with the new platform within one year of its introduction. In comparison, Vista never achieved greater than 20 percent usage share in its entire history, so I believe the transition is already under way."

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