Windows

What to look for in Windows 7

BitLocker encryption

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Adding BitLocker encryption requires you to enter a password (or use smart-card credentials). After entering a strong password, click the Start Encrypting button. The actual time it takes varies depending on how much data is on the drive. Any additional files you copy to this drive in the future will automatically be encrypted on the fly.

This gallery is a companion piece for my in-depth review of Windows 7 based on the final release candidate. Be sure to read "What to expect from Windows 7" to get the full story.

15 comments
mike
mike

1. Is there way to install Win7 - to trial it - and then easily go back to XP if it becomes unpopular or older clients get slow ? 2. In a network of clients having a possible mix of Win7 and XP what are the win7 issues of group policy on Server2003 R2

alexri
alexri

The best way to take Windows 7 for a test drive is to create a virtual machine and install it. Though Dual Boot works fine, but seeing it's still not the final product I doubt that's what you'll want. I've not noticed any major issues with Windows 7 and Server 2003 domain and group policies, however I'm not a big sysadmin. Active directory still does what it should, there may be some minor issues, but in general you can add windows 7 computers to your domain. As long as you don't call any very specific windows XP items in your scripts. Also some policies etc. may be controlled differently. You may also want to add policies about, for example UAC.

john3347
john3347

While Windows 7 does appear to be, as it is often referred to, "Vista repaired"; it is still WAYYYYYYYYY too much Vista. The corporate world, and a large percentage of home users do not want or need the fluff and puff, Fisher-Price look that began with XP and has just gotten worse since then. There was a discussion in Tech Republic recently on this subject. I just want my applications to work. I don't "use" the operating system as an application, I only want to use it as a tool to make my applications work. Microsoft doesn't seem to realize that this market exists and is really WIDE OPEN at this time (Linux developers, and Apple don't realize this either). Just give me a no-frills, no-nonsense OS that makes my applications work (whatever application I wish to use). Obviously, there is a market for what Vista and 7 are, but the world needs something different to satisfy a different need for millions of users.

alexri
alexri

All comments are about "fluff" if you actually run Windows 7 beta or RC you'll notice that it's much more than fluff that definitely makes Windows 7 worth switching. What users want isn't the bare necessities, they WANT FLUFF, and if fluff works well (dare I say it: intuitively) AND it doesn't give users the feeling that it's slow(er) compared to their previous experience, they're more than happy to upgrade. I believe that Windows 7 is going to make it more attractive for business users to move to it. I've seen it run brilliantly on netbooks, most laptops and there's definitely no issue in the workstation department. Hardware cycles are fast, and many businesses (talking about larger businesses here) have hardware that's more than capable to run Windows 7. The looks in Windows 7 really do help the 'average joe' user to find his or her way through the OS. The futures mentioned in the article are really eye catchers that, when you let them, can really make you more productive by spending less time making clicks in the OS and more time in whatever highly productive tool the user wants to use. So far there's no Linux distro that stands a chance against windows n in the usability and maintenability. Linux can actually look great, it just doesn't -work- the way Windows does and that's disturbing to even more millions of users. In the end there will always be someone somewhere who'd rather 'stick with the old' but that's their loss. In the end they'll notice colleagues performing better and having a nicer user experience and switch, or they'll just be forced to move over because ... really how long do you think XP will be supported?

tonycopp
tonycopp

XP will be supported as long as M$oft chooses to be in business..the prod when turned into a pitchfork will bust the balloon and they know it...business is not for fluff-meisters "..finding their way through the OS?" ..sorry my pied piper..no time, cash, need to busy with the unnecessary fluff they're selling..sold to you.

alexri
alexri

Hey I'm not sure where you are coming from with that comment, but I can assure you that EVERY SINGLE COMPANY has a specific IT budget and they most definitely look at the ROI of a specific investment. If your company does not benefit that much from a faster O/S and it doesn't make employees happier to have the latest upgrades, then the ROI on an upgrade may be alot lower than the companies that I may be working for. However for the larger companies the risks involved in switching O/S are actually much higher but so can the ROI be. They definitely think alot before going to the next thing especially if they'll need to migrate a million machines to the new O/S with a huge support organisation behind it. Don't for a second think that just because a company 'has money' they don't think about what they spend it on and what they'll get back.

tonycopp
tonycopp

If money is no object, you can well afford to buy your staff and family Cadillac Escalades or Lincoln Navigators. My people are just going downtown or to the train station, have a budget, and pay close attention to cost-benefit ratios and enjoy the process of getting commensurate value for their dollars. The rich are different.

alexri
alexri

It's understandable that a jump to either vista or XP is hard, especially in businesses where IT isn't that much of a driver. When you have any type of business where IT is actually a large driver people are more accepting towards new versions of an operating system. It's all from which side you're viewing the whole thing like you say; but keep in mind that what may not work in your specific situations might actually be great in all other situations. As a consumer I definitely love Windows 7 and what it brings to the table. I had my interface transition issues when I went to vista, but I've grown attached to them and Windows 7 improves them so they're not a hurdle for me personally. At home I also installed Windows 7 for my sister, mother and father and they all work well with Windows 7 and even though it's new thye can do everything they want with it. The same goes for my girlfriend who's also not a techy. I think that many people resist Windows 7 just because of some sort of attachment to XP and aversion to Microsoft products.

tonycopp
tonycopp

I am indeed completely missing the point that MSoft can afford to push tout le monde into Vista fixta..but that's OK..if we both have different points, vive le difference! You are in the consultancy business of course and your point is completely appropriate and understandable... were I in that catering business, I couldn't afford to avoid that butter on my bread.

alexri
alexri

What I'm seeing in the company that I work for (which is in the consultancy business), there's still quite a bit of "to vista" migration going on. These are some major companies and their major reasons for going to a new O/S is for their employees to be: 1. Happy (new shiny stuff is always good) 2. More productive (happiness helps, but so does a more responsive OS with well thought through navigation) Not everything may be to your specific liking, but in general companies are making their move to new OS's. When the major contracts for support expire (and yes: they WILL expire), most companies will make the move anyway or put up specific contracts. You can't keep supporting everything and everyone from your old OS and still keep the focus on developing new and improved products. I think you're completely missing the point to be honest.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

I?ve now worked with the beta version and can honestly say that I?m not impressed. The only thing of significant note is that they finally got Vista right. But that having been said there is really no body of features that make it a must-have upgrade for business. All the cute stuff is fluff and is bolted down on a business desktop anyway. The new Explorer interface in an effort to save anybody from needing to think about information organization has sliced things so thin that access to a specific location is now redundantly available in a way that is more likely to ultimately confuse. Duplicate access via My Documents made sense. This approach doesn?t as does not the continued default folder/icon view that hides file type extensions and other relevant information such as date. In an effort to make Windows more Mac like they?ve lost focus on what a business desktop should look like: clean, uncluttered and absent the cute stuff. I?m sure the consumer community likes this but it is a disservice to business which is no small part of Microsoft?s income. The only real advantage is that it can use newer hardware better. The Virtual XP mode, while a sensible acknowledgement to the realities that XP is all the OS the vast majority of business need, is going to come back to bite them in the way ?Vista Capable? did. There are many business desktops that are relatively new with Intel and AMD chips that lack the feature to virtualize. So when a business decides to bite the bullet thinking they can depend on this feature for their legacy applications only to find it won?t work on a good number of machines it?s going to be a mess. I still maintain that if MS would have been smart they would have gone the Vista/Win7 route for consumers and worked to reinforce the base of XP, possibly with a new version such as XP 2009, which would have maintained the core and interface of XP but built in the better, under-the-hood features put in Win7. Everyone would have been much happier and frankly Microsoft would have likely made more money down stream. Many will stick with XP for more than the half decade until 2014.

markyannone
markyannone

It looks like a sponge for resources.

tonycopp
tonycopp

DOS plus an extra ten billion or so lines of code just to drive down the street. We need a reliable, fast, non-crashable OS that ties things together without its own maze of presentation scenarios designed to highlight itself. It's an just an OS for Gates-sake! Win 7 shouldn't be a royal family style justification of its droit de seigneur. All we need it a place to hook independent apps to work and get out of the way, not be forced to tie into this incredibly complex version of reality. It freezes the rest of the developing world into interacting with this monster on its peculiar terms. I won't go down this expensive road with pretty billboards that comes with the privilege of paying a huge real estate tax on hardware and turnpike license fee for the visible engine. Remember the Edsel concentrating on its own chrome?

alexri
alexri

I know plenty of people who drive a toyota, even though it has had its issues; they're pretty sure they'll buy it again next time for all the miles it had gone and by how far it has brought them. Yeah it's more expensive then a Dacia, and perhaps when you get used to it a Dacia can do just as well or even better. Fact is though, if something has brought you far enough, you don't want to switch. If you look at the development of Windows you'll notice that your DOS comment is so waaaaaaay off that, I already regret writing a somewhat serious reply to your post. If you come up with an OS that works as well as Windows does: go ahead, fact is most desktop OS's don't even come close. Monopoly acusations aside, Microsoft is doing a great job on Windows and Windows 7 is a major improvement and it shows that they actually listen to "we, the people." All that fancy Theme stuff is rendered by your video card, and doesn't take much processor time nor memory at all. So that definitely doesn't slow things down. Microsoft got ride of plenty access baggage in Windows 7 making it alot faster than Vista. If you want to use something else, please do so. Just don't get all jealous that everyone else is having just as much pleasure from their Windows as you are having with whatever OS you prefer. P.S. isn't an OS like Linux > Linux Kernel + an extra ten billion or so lines of code ? Letting the user pick the lines of code he/she wants to use hasn't exactly been a good way to go so far, and won't be until all of the world is tech savvy.

tonycopp
tonycopp

DOS was not the point, only the limited base to continue to play whatever new flash that they can squeeze out upon it that attracts and extracts no matter the ultimate diminishing return, damn the consequences. Win XP was the end of the line, another SPx would be nice, thanks. Vista, now Win 7 is Wily Coyote chasing RoadRunner (copyright , eula, of course)off the edge of the cliff..Acme dynamite isn't the answer either...roll over, Beethoven. legs a'windmilling, gravity happens..beep, beep!!