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Windows 7 Overview

Windows 7 is the next version of the Windows client operating and is on track to be available approximately 3 years after the release of Windows Vista. Windows 7 builds on the modern foundation of Windows Vista, and companies that deploy Windows Vista first will find that Windows 7 is highly compatible with their hardware, software, and tools.

The investments in Windows 7 are shaped by the evolving needs of end users and IT professionals in the enterprise. Users are becoming more computer-savvy, and 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-with the same level of productivity. As user needs have changed, the demands on IT professionals have increased. Today, IT professionals must provide more capability and greater flexibility for users while continuing to minimize cost and security risks.

Here's a preview of the key investments in Windows 7 to help enterprise customers address the evolving needs of their end users and IT professionals:

  • Make users productive anywhere
    Windows 7 enables users to complete their job no matter where they are-at home, in a branch office, or on the road-without reducing productivity. People can work with fewer interruptions, because Windows 7 will deliver solid performance and reliability from day 1. Windows Search can query a SharePoint site on a company intranet right from Windows, as well as files on a user's PC. With DirectAccess, mobile users can simply and more securely access corporate resources when out of the office. BranchCache can make users in branch offices with slow connections more productive by speeding access to frequently accessed files and Web pages.

  • Enhance security and control
    Windows 7 builds on the security foundation of Windows Vista, and delivers increased flexibility in helping secure computers and data. Businesses can worry less about sensitive data on lost laptops or USB drives because, in addition to protecting internal hard disks, Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption can now encrypt external thumb drives and hard disks with BitLocker To Go-and provide recovery keys so that the data is accessible when needed. For enterprises that demand the highest levels of compliance, IT professionals can use new application-blocking tools in AppLocker to dictate which applications can run on user computers, providing yet another way to limit the risk of malicious software. User Account Control has been streamlined to provide fewer prompts to users and more configuration options for IT.

  • Streamline PC management
    Whether IT professionals manage and deploy desktops, laptops, or virtual environments, Windows 7 makes the job easier while enabling them to leverage the same tools and skills they use with Windows Vista. Advanced image management and deployment tools enable IT professionals to add, remove, and report on drivers, language packs, and updates-and push those system images to desktops using less network bandwidth. New scripting and automation capabilities based on Windows PowerShell 2.0 reduce the costs of managing and troubleshooting computers. For enterprises making the leap to client virtualization, Windows 7 helps you more easily maintain virtual machine images with the same tools used for physical images and provide a richer user experience over remote connections.

Optimize your desktop infrastructure today with Windows Vista and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

There's no need to wait for Windows 7 to start upgrading your desktop infrastructure. Companies can be prepared to deploy Windows 7 as soon as possible by deploying Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) today. Customers 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 tools used to manage Windows Vista. Companies using MDOP will have an even greater advantage when moving to Windows 7 because they can more easily migrate settings and applications.

Increasing the value of software assurance

MDOP is available through Microsoft Software Assurance, which also provide upgrade rights to Windows 7 when it is available. Microsoft is committed to increasing the value that enterprises receive through Software Assurance by providing more predictable timing for releases of Windows, and continual innovation through regular updates to MDOP.

With Software Assurance, Windows Vista with SP1, and MDOP, enterprises can optimize their desktop infrastructure today and prepare for the business benefits coming in Windows 7.


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