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Microsoft Springboard Session: Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Notes

By BillGibson ·
I attended a Microsoft event this past Thursday evening, and thought I would share my notes...

The focus was primarily on the upcoming release of Windows 7, with a few notes on Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows 7 is being pitched as what I would describe as ?a more mature? Vista. By this, I mean that more attention has been given to driver and software compatibility, the UAC subsystem in now less obtrusive, and the hardware requirements are much less aggressive. In fact the hardware requirements are so processor and hard drive lax that many systems in production will be able to easily handle this upgrade with potentially some additional RAM.

For some features of Server 2008 R2 to work properly, IPv6 must be implemented, and the term Teredo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teredo_tunneling) was used often as a way to have ipv4 & ipv6 coexist. Furthermore, Server R2 will only support 64 bit processors. They also spent a considerable amount of time touting their supported business partnerships with everyone from Novell, to Sun, to VMware, and explaining how ?supported? to them means that they are able to escalate issue within the partner?s support structure. Some time was spent detailing the power, and future integration of power shell within Microsoft and 3rd part applications.

Below are short explanations and links to additional information on several of the topics covered. Since Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2 are expected to be released more or less together, most of these features will be available on both, however when in doubt, consider it a Windows 7 feature.

Problem Steps Recorder: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd320286.aspx)
Can be used to provide detailed user interface documentation when an application experiences an error.
Boot from a VHD: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd758779.aspx)
Allows you to boot a physical system directly from a Virtual Hard Drive image file.
Hard-Link Migration as part of User State Migration: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd572169.aspx)
Building upon previous user state migration tools, is the ability to do an clean Windows install, yet bring over existing settings.
AppLocker: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd320283.aspx)
Provides various levels of granularity in preventing software installations (e.g. Block all software from a certain publisher, or with a certain phrase in the name, or executable).
BitLocker To go: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd408739.aspx)
The whole-drive encryption feature of BitLocker can now be extended to encrypt removable media.
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP): (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bb899442.aspx)
Not really sure?but I wrote it down
DirectAccess: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd572177.aspx)
?VPNless? remote access based on computer authentication.
Reliability Monitor: (http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2008/04/01/using-reliability-monitor-for-troubleshooting.aspx)
Provides timeline-esque recording and display of OS & application error/warning messages.
BranchCache: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd573290.aspx)
Provides web and file server caching across WAN connections.
Reciece Window Auto-Tuning: (http://blogs.technet.com/johnbaker/archive/2008/09/10/enhanced-network-performance-with-windows-vista-and-windows-server-2008-the-next-generation-networking-and-the-new-tcp-ip-stack.aspx)
This allows the amount of data sent in a TCP packet to dynamically increase or decrease over reliable or unreliable network connections to provide for quicker file transfers.
Some Task Manager & Start menu desktop features: (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10080417-56.html)
These are both very noisy videos, but they give you a glimpse into some of the new desktop UI elements. I recommend the second video?it has what they refer to as jumplets.
Aero Shake: (http://lifehacker.com/5077379/new-aero-shake-clears-the-windows-7-desktop)
A neat little UI trick for getting to your desktop.

Additional resources can be found using this starting point:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/default.aspx

Hope this was a helpful start for you.

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