Microsoft is looking to make a splash with the British launch of Windows 7 in October. The company is calling on British ISVs to send in their applications that are ready to run on Windows 7 so that customers can see the potential for the new operating system.

Ian Moulster, product manager at Microsoft UK said that this was the first time that this approach had been tried for an operating system within the UK, although the company had carried out a similar initiative with the launch of SQLServer. He said the initiative would be useful for all sides, for Microsoft's point of view It would mean that Windows 7 was being taken seriously already, for ISVs it would be a good chance to gain some publicity and users could see the sort of products available.

Moulster said that the Microsoft was looking to attract a range of ISVs in time for the launch - from the large organisations who aimed at the bigger enterprises to consumer-orientated companies. "For example," said Moulster, "we could have a family tree application maker aimed at the home user going all the way up to a large accounting CRM." Moulster said that Tribold, System C and Iconics were three resellers already signed up for the directory but that there were a lot more to follow.

One thing that Microsoft doesn't have in mind is a target number of responses. "There's no set number of ISVs we're looking to attract - there might even be 1000s. We just don't know what response we're gong to get," said Moulster. He said that the SQL Server initiative had attracted about 150 responses but that was not necessarily a guide for the success of Windows 7. "If you want my guess," said Moulster, I estimate between 300 to 500 - but that's my personal guess."

So far, the initiative has been publicised on Moulster's personal blog but the company is aiming to ramp up promotion of the programme. He's hoping that many of the applications being developed by the ISVs will already be Windows 7-ready. "Typically, if they have an application that already runs on Vista, then it will probably run on Windows 7. If it runs on XP and doesn't run on Vista there'll probably be some work to do," he said.

The selected ISVs will be announced at pre-launch event on 5 October and details of the applications will be included in a book that Microsoft will produce as well as being made available on the website.