Cisco warns UC users of limited support for Windows 7

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is warning customers of its unified communications products that support for Windows 7 won’t be forthcoming until the product’s 8.0 release scheduled for the first quarter of 2010. About a dozen more UC products will not support Windows 7 until version 8.5, in the third quarter of 2010 and at that time, only the 32-bit version of Windows 7 will be supported.

7 tools for Windows 7 rolloutsDennis Hartmann on Cisco Unified Communications

Only three Cisco UC products among a list of about 50 published by Cisco Subnet blogger Brad Reese specifically promised 64-bit support, and this only through the use of a 32-bit emulator. These products are the Cisco UC Integration for Microsoft Office Communicator, Cisco IP Communicator and Cisco Unified Personal Communicator. The Communicator products are the client-side multimedia applications used with Cisco Unified Communications.

One CCIE, who asked not to be identified, is frustrated with the delay. He tells Network World that Cisco became a Windows supplier when it developed desktop UC applications such as the Unified Attendant Console, one of the applications that is not yet slated to support 64-bit Windows 7. The spotty roadmap for 64-bit support makes it difficult to see Cisco's UC as a good fit for companies wanting to upgrade to Windows 7, he says.

One reader posted a comment on Reese’s blog that said it is possible to run UC products on Windows 7 right now. However another expressed frustration. This anonymous reader wrote, “I realize many of the Cisco UC products will probably work on Win 7 32-bit. I'm concerned about the Cisco UC applications working on Win 7 64-bit. Microsoft 64-bit OS has been available since Win XP although 64-bit processors have only been available for the masses for a few years. However, most desktop and notebook computers purchased in the last 2-3 years included 64-bit processors. Cisco is now a desktop software application vendor. They provide many applications for the standard desktop computer. They have a responsibility to support the most current corporate desktop OS!”

Microsoft released Windows 7 to manufacturing on July 22, 2009. At that point developers of Windows applications had access to the final code included Windows 7. It was released to the general public on October 22. 

According to Microsoft’s Windows 7 Compatibility Center, four Cisco desktop Windows applications have been certified as compatible with Windows 7. These are the Cisco VPN client version 5, the Cisco EAP-FAST Module, the Cisco LEAP Module, the Cisco PEAP Module. These modules are methods to securely transmit authentication credentials and are used with a VPN.

Cisco Subnet blogger Jamey Heary asserts that Cisco is the first major VPN vendor to support Windows 7 (as well as Mac OSX 10.6 clients). Cisco’s VPN support for Windows 7 covers both its IPSEC client and SSLVPN client software. The Cisco Anyconnect 2.4 SSLVPN client actually does support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. The Cisco VPN client 5.0.6 supports only the 32-bit version, according to Microsoft's compatibility information.

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This story, "Cisco warns UC users of limited support for Windows 7" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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