Microsoft has unveiled a new benefit for partners that are moving customers from Windows 7 to Windows 10, with the company now offering expert assistance around Windows 10 deployments.
The end of support date for Windows 7 is set for Jan. 14, 2020, and Microsoft has made a series of investments to help with the transition, said Bob Davis, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in a blog post. The latest of these investments is the launch of FastTrack for Windows 10 deployment guidance.
The benefit takes the form of free expert assistance on Windows 10 deployments for situations where there are at least 150 licenses of an eligible service or plan.
"Sometimes you have a complex scenario and aren’t even sure where to start, or you’ve encountered a problem that has your migration stalled. There are times when you need to talk to an expert to get guidance on where to go next," Davis said.
FastTrack, Davis said in the post, will assist with envisioning a technical plan and determining how to deploy new users—and will continue to offer help throughout the deployment.
Partners will be able leverage FastTrack on behalf of customers, "whether for everything Microsoft provides or just a select item such as app compatibility," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to CRN. "Partners can either have Microsoft work directly with the customer or use Microsoft in the background."
Microsoft will continue to refer additional value-added services—such as on-site work, training and customisation—to partners that are outside the scope of FastTrack, the spokesperson said. "For Windows 10 moves, SCCM [System Center Configuration Manager] upgrades/architecture are a big partner opportunity where Microsoft expects to work with them."
FastTrack for Windows 10 deployment guidance joins other available benefits around moving off Windows 7, such as Windows Autopilot, which aims to simplify device setup for IT, and Desktop App Assure, which helps address issues with Windows 10 application compatibility.