Windows 7 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, released in late 2009. Overall, according to a variety of sources, operating systems from Microsoft are used by more than 91% of computer users worldwide. The Vista operating system that it supersedes received much criticism and that, along with a poorly performing economy, led to sales being disappointing, especially among businesses.
Windows 7, however, is proving to be popular. According to financial advisors Merrill Lynch in June 2010, more than 100 million licences were sold for Windows 7 in the first six months after it was released, making it the fastest selling operating system ever. Net Applications reports that 12% of personal computers worldwide now run Windows 7 and businesses are also seeing its appeal. Microsoft claims that it has seen a 14% increase in sales of business computers since its release. Its popularity is borne out by research commissioned by Dell KACE of more than 900 respondents across the world that shows that 87% of IT professionals surveyed are planning to adopt Windows 7.
Microsoft itself reports that many of its business customers are extremely satisfied with their Windows 7 deployments, citing productivity gains, increased collaboration among workers and enhanced data security as among the primary benefits. Key features available in the Windows 7 Enterprise edition release include BitLocker full-disk encryption, BitLocker To Go removable media encryption for enhanced data security, DirectAccess VPN for creating trusted connexions for users on remote networks and AppLocker for preventing unauthorised software from running on the network.