Early adopters finding Windows 7 saves time and energy

By , Computerworld |  Windows, Gartner, Windows 7

ORLANDO - Some early enterprise adopters of Window 7 say they expect that Microsoft's new operating system will cut power costs while saving its users time by booting up more quickly and better managing user screens power use.

The corporate users , who took part in a panel at the Gartner Inc. Symposium/ITxpo conference here, are migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 after skipping Windows Vista.

Jim Thomas, director of IT operations at Pella Corp., a window and door maker in Des Moines, Iowa, said the group policy controls in Windows 7 are helping the company's IT department better control user power management. A desktop or laptop user may be able temporarily reset power management controls, "but every time the group policy reapplies it puts the power setting down that we want to apply," he said.

Thomas said that he is conservatively estimating that the use of Windows 7 will result in about $20,000 in annual power savings once the software is fully deployed.

Thomas said that about 200 out of the company's 4,000 users are running Windows 7 so far. He expects half of the company's users to be upgraded to Windows 7 next year and the rest during 2011.

Mike Capone, the CIO of Automatic Data Processing Inc. in Roseland, N.J., said that about 300 of ADP's 30,000 users are running the new operating system. He said he has seen estimates that the Windows 7 power management capabilities could deliver savings "into the six figure range on an annual basis" once the full ADP rollout is completed. He expects all users at the payroll processor to be running Windows 7 within 36 months.

The panelists lauded the significant speeding of the Windows 7 boot-up process , noting that it cuts minutes off the process.

Randy Benz, CIO of Energizer Holdings Inc., said that 40 IT workers at company best known for its batteries has been running a Windows 7 pilot. The operating system will be deployed to about 8,800 more employees by the end of 2010.

Benz said Windows 7 boots up about 80% faster than XP, which could take 5 minutes or so. "We're seeing a radical change from what we're experiencing with XP," said Benz. "My pet peeve is boot-up time with XP. It seems the longer you use it, the worse it gets."

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