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What's New for IT Pros in Windows 7

Updated: February 3, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7

Users are becoming increasingly computer savvy, and they expect more from the technology they use at work. They expect to be able to work from home, from branch offices, and on the road, without a decrease in productivity. As the needs of users have changed, the demands on IT professionals have increased. Today, IT pros are being asked to provide more capabilities and support greater flexibility, while continuing to minimize cost and security risks. With Windows® 7, IT pros can meet the diverse needs of their users in a way that is more manageable. Businesses can enable employees to work more productively at their desks, at home, on the road, or in a branch office. Security and control are enhanced, reducing the risk associated with data on lost computers or external hard drives. Desktop management is streamlined, so it takes less work to deploy Windows 7 and keep it running smoothly. Because Windows 7 is based on the Windows Vista® foundation, companies that have already deployed Windows Vista will find that Windows 7 is highly compatible with existing hardware, software, and tools.

noteNote
For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.

What can IT pros do with Windows 7?

Windows 7 contains many new and changed features of interest to IT pros. Following are some of the key management tasks that can be improved or enabled with Windows 7.

Make end users productive anywhere

Windows 7 enables end users to be productive no matter where they are or where the data they need resides. They can work faster and with fewer interruptions because Windows 7 improves performance and reliability. They do not have to look in multiple places to find information because a single search can examine a SharePoint site on a company intranet and files on their computers. With DirectAccess, mobile users are able to simply and securely access corporate resources when they are out of the office. Users in branch offices with slow connections can be more productive by using BranchCache™ in Windows 7 to cache frequently accessed files and Web pages.

For more information about DirectAccess and BranchCache, see What's New in Networking, DirectAccess Technical Overview for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, and BranchCache in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Overview.

Enhance security and control

Windows 7 builds on the security foundation of Windows Vista, delivering increased flexibility in securing computers and data. In addition to protecting internal computer hard disk drives, BitLocker™ Drive Encryption can encrypt external USB drives and hard disks—and provide recovery keys so that the data is accessible when it is needed. For more information on BitLocker, see Windows 7 BitLocker Executive Overview. For enterprises that demand the highest levels of compliance, IT pros can use new application-blocking tools to dictate which applications are allowed to run on end user computers, providing another way to limit the risk of malicious software.

Streamline desktop management with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

Whether IT pros manage and deploy desktop computers, portable computers, or virtual environments, Windows 7 makes the job easier while enabling them to use the same tools and skills they use with Windows Vista. Advanced image management and deployment tools enable IT pros to add, remove, and report on drivers, language packs, and updates—and deploy those system images to user computers by using less network bandwidth. New scripting and automation capabilities based on Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 reduce the costs of managing and troubleshooting computers. For IT pros that use client virtualization, Windows 7 helps them more easily maintain virtual machine images and provide a richer user experience over remote connections.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, which is updated at least once a year, completes the enterprise experience. By using Windows 7 and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack together, enterprises can optimize their desktop infrastructure and gain the flexibility to address their unique business needs. Companies can quickly prepare to deploy Windows 7 by immediately deploying Windows Vista and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. Customers who are already running Windows Vista will find that Windows 7 delivers strong compatibility with Windows Vista software and devices, and that Windows 7 can be managed with many of the same tools that they use to manage Windows Vista. Companies that are using the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack will have an even greater advantage when moving to Windows 7 because they can more easily migrate settings and applications. For more information on the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, see Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

New and changed features in Windows 7

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