Wednesday, 21 October 2009 11:41

ERP developer welcomes Windows 7

ERP vendor Pronto has been testing its software on Windows 7. It's also been running a trial internal deployment of Microsoft's new OS. The verdict? It's all good.

iTWire interviewed Pronto Software R&D manager Chad Gates about Windows 7. Pronto has been working hard to ensure that customers that move to the OS have a good experience.

Pronto has also been running an internal trial of Windows 7 involving some 10-15% of its staff. The company stuck with XP rather than moving to Vista, so there's growing pressure for a migration.

Gates reckons customers and staff are in for a satisfactory time.

Since most Pronto end users work through a thin client, the desktop operating system isn't that important. However, integration with desktop applications such as the Office suite is improved with Windows 7, while security-related changes meant Pronto had to code some components carefully to avoid issues.

This particularly applied to the Windows-native applications, such as the screen customiser.

Gates said Pronto's primary objective was to ensure good continuity when customers migrate from XP to Windows 7. He's confident the company wouldn't have a support problem even if every customer immediately adopted the new OS.

"We understand that Pronto is a mission-critical application for our customers," he said.

That said, Pronto has had to document some new procedures for customers in the light of changes in Windows' security model. "It's just a different way of looking at things," he said.

What about the internal trial of Windows 7? Please read on.

The company is also looking to exploit some of the user interface changes delivered in Windows 7 in future releases of Pronto-Xi. These include alterations to the task bar and menus, and the way Windows 7 moves certain functions into the background. "We've pushed Pronto in the same direction," he said.

Pronto began its internal trial of Windows 7 in August, starting with the release candidate and then the release to manufacture version. The trial involves somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of staff, drawn from various areas within the company.

"So far, so good," observed Gates, even though the participants vary in terms of technical expertise and using desktop and notebook systems with a variety of specifications and vintages.

Windows 7 is behaving well, and user acceptance is high.

The company plans a gradual move to Windows 7. For the last couple of months, all new users have been put straight onto the new OS, and others will be migrated as their hardware is replaced on the usual three-year cycle or following a catastrophic failure.

Gates suggests organisations running Vista should move to Windows 7 as soon as possible, at it resolves several annoying issues in that operating system (including those relating to VPNs, UAC, and multiple monitors).

"Vista was not perceived as being good for businesses," he said. "It was like [Windows] Me all over again."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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