This posting is provided “as is” with no warranties, and confers no rights. All of the information herein could easily be right, wrong, up, down, in, out, backwards, forwards, heavily dated, or totally false. You can interpret it as you wish, or not interpret it at all. Also, in case you haven’t figured it out, all of this is non-static and heavily subject to change.
The final pillar focuses much more on the business-oriented aspects of Windows 7 rather than the consumer additions we saw in the previous four pillars. The scenarios covered by this particular pillar are designed to make deployment and maintenance of Windows 7 easier than any prior operating system. Most of the scenarios in this pillar seem to be nothing more than enhancements of features which made their debut in Windows Vista, which is good for companies looking to minimize costs while looking to deploy an improved OS since it would mean less training for both employees and IT professionals.
This is the final post in the series, so feel free to comment on any of the five pillars in this thread. The fifth pillar is across the link
Pillar Five: Engineered for Ease of Ownership
Windows 7 will put a number of computer repair personnel out of a job (kidding) while making life much easier for the typical corporate network administrator by providing the tools necessary to keep Windows running as long and as healthy as possible.
- Data Recovery as well as Diagnostics and Health will both carry over from Windows Vista. Shadow Copies, easy backups, the reliability monitor, Network Access Protection, etc. should all carry over into Windows 7. Not much specific information exists on these two scenarios, which leads me to believe that there won’t be much in the way of new features here besides possibly making it easier to deploy.
- Less Fear of New Applications as the need for applications to use administrative access to deliver a rich and seamless interface will decrease. Less administrative access means a safer system and less worry over potential harm, as well as less of those pathetic User Access Control jokes your network administrator makes on a routine basis.
Quick example: DPI scaling no longer requires UAC or even a reboot because all DPI changes are now done at the user level (per account).
I took that screenshot at 133DPI, which is the literal DPI count for my laptop screen.
- Migration from Vista to Windows 7 will be improved compared to the process from XP to Vista. The hassles of upgrading and migration for both home and business users will lessen, which might be enough of a blessing to get people to move over to Windows 7 as opposed to ditching Windows for another operating system. This, of course, flies in the face of a recent article posted by BOFH over at thebetaguy, since migration of applications would be completely impossible based on what he thinks Windows 7 would do to backwards compatibility.
- Business Productivity and Security enhancements will allow for administrators to deploy Windows 7 fast while keeping costs low and keeping the network secure. On a personal note, I think this may be the hardest feature to pull off simply because of how many different usage scenarios an IT department might run into during deployment, though if Microsoft wants to try, more power to them.
- Devices will “just work!” This one is self explanatory on paper, though in my view it will be just as impossible to achieve as the perfect business storm labeled above.
- A Quick and Clean OOBE translates to less time spent installing and configuring the operating system. The target installation time which the Windows 7 product team seems to be aiming for is ten minutes with at most one reboot, while the first run OOBE dialogs in Windows 7 will try to make personalizing Windows 7 quick and easy.
Here’s a good example:
This is one of the new dialogs which a user will see while completing his or her installation of Windows 7 M1,
giving the user more control over getting his/her computer up and running even before logging on for the first time.
A number of AeroXP old-timers will note that this harks back to the days of pre-reset Longhorn, when a build would install in an insane 15 minutes compared to the 50 minute install times of XP and Windows Vista.
- Reduced IT Management Costs thanks to easy-to-implement Group Policy Objects and the Windows PowerShell. PowerShell will not replace the command prompt. All that matters with this scenario is that version 2 of PowerShell will be present within Windows 7 along with (hopefully) a bunch of “cmdlets” for system administrators.
*cmdlets are basically little scripts which run almost as their own executables within Windows PowerShell, thus making administration easier from within PowerShell. I’m not proficient with PowerShell, so if anyone would like to expand on this, feel free to do so in the comments.
- Corporate Data Security will be improved without compromising efficiency and employee productivity. According to the scenario description, sensitive document creation, editing, sharing, etc. will all be easier than before, though there isn’t much elaboration beyond this. Auditing improvements will also be added, such as the ability to audit when certain applications were used (number of times, durations, possibly even the number of times features within an application were used) as well as tracking reasons for granting access to specific files, documents, applications, etc.
These are the five pillars, with lots of scenarios and features to fill them all. Microsoft set some lofty goals in the fifth pillar (we can all agree that the “Just works!” idea goes back a long way), though a good number of these also seem reasonable given the length of the development cycle. I personally never thought Vista was a terrible operating system, but if this is what Microsoft has planned for Windows® 7, all the criticism the Windows team endured during the Vista launch may have proven valuable after all.