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  1. 1. Get Ready for Windows 7Get ready forWindows 7 ® Back to contents1 an IT Management eBook Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  2. 2. Contents… Get Ready for Windows 7 This content was adapted from Internet.com’s Datamation, Enterprise IT Planet, and CIO Update Web sites. Contributors: Andy Rathbone, Steven Warren, Dries Janssens, and Sonny Discini.2 2 Windows 7 Review: Why I Like Windows 7 5 And the 3 Most Important New Features of Windows 7 Are…5 7 7 Windows 7 IT Pro Feature Watch List 9 Gartner: Windows 7 OK for Vista Disgruntled9 11 11 Windows 7 Security: Good, Bad or Ugly? 1 Solving Storage for Your SMB, an Internet.com Storage eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  3. 3. Get Ready for Windows 7 Windows 7 Review: Why I Like Windows 7 By Andy RathboneA fter nearly eight years, Windows XP had grown example of how Windows 7 pulls off a difficult mix of being as comfortable as an old car. Just as I’d forgotten both utilitarian and fun. Windows 7 softens Vista’s armored- about the growing number of dings on my car’s guard persona by adding a healthy dose of personality. Its bumper, I’d forgotten how many third-party tools backgrounds come stuffed with groovy psychedelic land-I’d used to prop up Windows XP. After adding CD and DVD scapes, dreamy Dada-esque creatures, and candy-coloredburners, search programs, Firefox, anime art.three media players and a host ofother tools, my Start menu’s three By draping this whimsy over Vista’scolumns reached the far edge of my security underpinnings, Microsoft’sdesktop. helping make people feel both safe and creative with their computers,That’s why running Windows 7 for a feeling that comes so naturally tothe past seven months brought Apple.back the excitement of driving anew car. And for the first time, my Even if the backgrounds don’tonce trusted Windows XP began suit your fancy, you must admirelooking like a car that needed much how Windows 7’s design teammore than a paint job. deliberately chose wallpaper that would have been shot down in aIt’s partially my own fault. Like many traditional boardroom. That’s a bigothers, I skipped Windows Vista. change from Vista, where every-And Vista, for all its faults, provided thing seemed to fall to the lowesta strong, secure base. Unfortunately, Microsoft ruined Vista’s common denominator.improvements by adding overly aggressive security, thicklayers of meandering menus, and a sense of being designed Minimal Hardwareby a huge committee. Demands Vista’s bloat kept it from running on netbooks, the PCWindows 7 strips away that ugliness to create something industry’s single bright spot these days. Windows 7, by con-that’s light yet strong, useful yet still playful. Windows 7 trast, runs fine on most netbooks, as well as on older PCs.grabs me in a lot of ways Windows XP no longer does. Needing another test machine while writing Windows 7 For Dummies, I installed Windows 7 on a Pentium III with 16MBWallpaper of video memory. Surprisingly enough, Windows 7 not onlyOddly enough, Windows 7’s new wallpaper provides a great installed, but its automatic trip to Windows Update brought By draping this whimsy over Vista’s security underpinnings,“ Microsoft’s helping make people feel both safe and creative with their computers, a feeling that comes so naturally to Apple. ” 2 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  4. 4. Get Ready for Windows 7the PC some new drivers, as well. That old Gateway PC will Librariesnever be a game machine, of course, but it works fine for the After people amass a decade’s worth of digital informa-essentials, e-mail and the Internet. tion, finding pieces of that information becomes the biggest challenge. Windows 7’s libraries tackle the organization partChances are Windows 7’s slimmed down footprint will fit of that problem by letting one library show the contents ofwell on your PC, as well, whether it’s a modern netbook or a several folders. Store your music in the Public Music folder,borderline antique. for example, and those tunes automatically appear in every user account’s Music library.Adjustable User Account ControlProbably the most welcome change is that Windows 7 tones Libraries break tradition, and IT people will be doing a lot ofdown User Account Control’s overly aggressive policing. But tutoring in the months to come. But once people grasp theif you still find yourself grinding your teeth more than work- concept, they’ll be able to spend more time working with “ing, a sliding control lets you adjust their information rather than finding it.Windows 7’s paranoia level to matchyour own. It’s refreshing to feel in con- Homegrouptrol of your PC rather than the otherway around. With Windows 7, With Windows 7, Microsoft finally realized that people don’t need the Microsoft finally same level of security on their homeShortcut KeysOnce you learn a few shortcut keys, realized that people networks as they do on the Internet. Homegroups let everybody type athey become addictive, and Windows7 brings several welcome ones. don’t need the same single password into their networked PCs. Those PCs then join hands toFor example, placing two windows level of security on become a Homegroup, where everyside-by-side on a crowded desktoptook a lot of mouse maneuvering in their home networks PC on the network can share all the music, pictures, and videos stored byWindows XP. In Windows 7, youclick the first window, and press as they do on the everyone else. Of course, anybody can opt out of sharing their media.Win+Right Arrow to scoot the win- Internet. But chances are, most people willdow against the right edge. Follow up embrace this easier way to share ”with a Win+Left Arrow on the second their vacation photos and music.window, and you’ve lined them upside-by-side, ready for quick information swapping. Windows 7’s a huge step forward from Microsoft Vista, and it’s versatile enough to last for years to come. But WindowsWindows 7 comes loaded with many other creative key- 7’s certainly not perfect.board shortcuts, a sign that the team had time to focus onsubtle details rather than major overhauls. As to be expected, Windows 7 is often too much about Microsoft’s needs, rather than your own. For example, Win-Taskbar Jumplists dows 7 no longer comes with an e-mail program, so Win-Windows 7 overhauled the taskbar with jumplists – pop- dows 7 understandably pushes Microsoft’s new Windowsup menus listing frequently accessed items and common Live Mail program as a replacement.tasks. Need to see one of your favorite Web sites in a hurry?Right-click the taskbar’s browser icon, click the favored site’s Try to download Windows Live Mail, though, and the instal-name from the pop-up list’s “Frequent” section, and the lation program tries to install Microsoft’s entire suite of Livebrowser opens to that site. programs. Then the installer tries to hijack your Home page to Microsoft’s ad-soaked MSN, and switch your search en-Can’t remember the location of that helpful folder you gine to Microsoft’s Live Search.opened yesterday? Right-click the Explorer icon, click thefolder’s name from the jumplist, and start digging in. With And the program repetitively begs you to sign up for ajumplists, Windows 7 adds a feeling of immediate gratifica- Windows Live e-mail address, no matter how many e-mailtion that all too often went missing from Vista. addresses you’ve accumulated over the years. If you’re upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7, Microsoft 3 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  5. 5. Get Ready for Windows 7switches your default browser to Internet Explorer 8, nomatter how many years you’ve been using Firefox. InternetExplorer’s Favorites and Feeds areas come pre-stuffed withlinks to Microsoft’s products.In short, Microsoft’s trying to wring as much cash as possi-ble from their enviable position of automatically landing atop90 percent of the world’s desktops. There’s nothing wrongwith business making money, of course. One day, hopefully,Microsoft will be a little less obnoxious about it.Let’s hope the company doesn’t pile it on so thick it ruins theWindows 7 experience I’ve found so far. n 4 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  6. 6. Get Ready for Windows 7 And the 3 Most Important New Features of Windows 7 Are… By Steven WarrenM any businesses skipped the adoption of Win- tracing the computer for 60 seconds and saving an energy dows Vista for just cause: they were happy with report locally. Additionally, you can also run parameters to their stable versions of Windows XP. With Win- find out why specific computers will not go to sleep. All of dows 7 now RTM you will see a strong adoption this control allows you to save lots of money in a corporateby 2010 and here is why: green computing, mobile comput- environment.ing, and Windows XP mode. In order to save the most money on power consumption, youThe Kermit Factor need to be able to push out changes at a global level. ThisUnder the hood, Windows 7 does have some features that is where Windows 7 shines by allowing you a more granularmake it greener than its predeces- power management group policysor, Windows Vista. Today more setting. You can configure manythan ever, companies are focused power management settings,on reducing costs. The simplest which in turn saves you money.way to reduce overhead costs is to Windows 7 has much more controlreduce your power consumption. than its predecessors ever had.Windows 7 has this feature. It isa fact that Windows 7 is more en- Mobile Computingergy efficient than Windows Vista For corporate environments withand Windows XP. a large mobile workforce, moving to Windows 7 will have significantOne new feature is called timer advantages. First, Windows 7 nowcoalescing. In modern processors, has a one-click wireless networktimer coalescing better schedules that allows you to choose yourthe work your processor does. By network profile in one simple click.grouping tasks sent to the pro- It is strikingly similar to Apple andcessor core at the same time, the a great benefit for roaming mobileprocessor can complete jobs quicker and then go back to users.sleep. One of the most useful features is the much improved bat-Another great feature that will save your company money is tery life. In several tests I performed using the same laptop;the ability to manage power consumption via group policy, I was able to get better battery life on Windows 7 when run-WMI, and a command line utility called PowerCfg. Running ning a DVD movie―up to 25 percent better. When I reimagedPowerCfg on a computer or pushing out to multiple com- my laptop with Windows XP and Windows Vista, batteryputers will allow you to identify energy efficiency issues by life suffered. As a bonus, I also enjoyed the 11 second boot For corporate environments with a large mobile workforce,“ moving to Windows 7 will have significant advantages. ” 5 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  7. 7. Get Ready for Windows 7time. So will you. lers to enter low power modes, as well. All of this functional- ity can be managed through power policy settings to giveMicrosoft introduced BitLocker disk encryption with Win- the IT administrator more control over power usage acrossdows Vista. This first pass of BitLocker only allowed you to the corporate environment. Windows Vista had this technol-encrypt the volume that had the operating system installed. ogy but the low power mode support was not there.The service pack 1 release extended this and allowed youto encrypt other drives, as well. Windows 7 trumps that by XP Modeallowing you to take advantage of its fast-food BitLocker edi- With Windows 7, Microsoft introduces Windows XP mode.tion that enables you to encrypt USB thumb drives and other Windows XP mode consists of a virtual based environmentremovable media. and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with service pack 3 (SP3). It will be available, for free (via download), to usersAnother plus for mobile users is adaptive display brightness of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate edi-that allows you to dim the display after a certain amount of tions. This is Microsoft’s answer to corporations who areactivity in addition to powering it off after five to 10 minutes reluctant to upgrade from Windows XP. If you have legacyof non-use. This can all be managed via group policy as applications that work only on Windows XP but you want towell and is a huge cost savings considering laptop displays progress, Windows XP mode is your answer. You can runare roughly 30 percent of a laptop’s total power usage. In your legacy applications seamlessly while taking advantagea corporate environment, this could add up to a significant of all the power consumption savings and other new featuressavings. Windows 7 has to offer.Windows 7 also provides new power management features At the end of the day, laptop batteries will run longer andfor wired and wireless networking. When users disconnect require less charging. Your corporate desktop machines willthe network cable, Windows 7 can automatically place the require less energy when being used and save you moneyadapter into a lower-power state. This feature is known as while idle. Just these two simple updates will guarantee cor-D3. This will save you up to .5 watts. porate rollouts by 2010. The kilowatts saved will alone justify the costs of the upgrade. nWhen you reconnect the network cable, Windows 7 will putthe adapter back into a full-power state. This is called D0.Additionally, Windows 7 enables wireless network control- 6 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  8. 8. Get Ready for Windows 7 Windows 7 IT Pro Feature Watch List By Dries JanssensW ith all the commotion surrounding Windows 7, PowerShell 2.0 one could almost forget that most companies Both Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 will include have not even made the leap to Vista. Does this PowerShell on steroids upgrade to the much loved origi- Windows 7 have what it takes to make these nal PowerShell. A GUI that will look familiar to Visual Studiocustomers skip Vista? Or will Redmond be forced to deploy users (complete with debugging features and color-coding),every trick in the book to avoid a repeat of Vista’s less-than- and more than 200 new cmdlets should make even UNIXstellar reception? users jealous. Additionally, PowerShell 2.0 will make remote executing available to administrators, thus enabling them toUsers and Administrators at Odds execute scripts on multiple networked computers at once.Illustrating the disconnect between IT professionals andhome users, the most publi- For an inside look at Power-cized complaint about Vista Shell’s progress from Micro-among end users is its most soft, be sure to bookmark theheralded feature among system PowerShell Team Blog.administrators: User AccountControl (UAC). Windows 7, on DirectAccessthe other hand, promises a fine- With DirectAccess, Microsofttunable checks-and-balances seems to be acknowledg-system, which may prove more ing the growing number ofinviting to average because of telecommuters and the needits less-intrusive behavior. to effectively manage their sys- tems: mobile users will be ableFor system administrators and to connect to the corporatepower users, Windows 7 may network without the hassle ofbe tempting because of its having to set up a VPN.seemingly endless list of newfeatures that may prove to be DirectAccess uses IPv6-over-just a tad more useful than IPsec (IPv6 should already beVista’s Sidebar (which will on every administrator’s minddisappear in Windows 7, although Gadgets remain). Below anyway, and the advantages are obvious: through Groupis a list of some of these features that I think are particularly Policy settings, mobile computers can be managed any timepromising. the computer has Internet connectivity (and not only when the computer connects to the network). This ensures that Additionally, PowerShell 2.0 will make remote executing“ available to administrators, thus enabling them to execute scripts on multiple networked computers at once. ” 7 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  9. 9. Get Ready for Windows 7even mobile computers stay updated and in line with local run. “Publisher rules” allow the administrator, throughpolicies. Group Policy, to fine tune installation rules based on an application’s digital signature. “BranchCacheIs that the sound of your WAN breath- PC Safeguarding a sigh of relief? Whereas Microsoft has been offer- ing the Shared Computer Toolkit (orBranchCache allows the administra- BranchCache allows SteadyState for XP and Vista) as ator to enable intranet-accessed datato be cached locally at the branch the administrator separate download for those looking for a reliable way to lock down theiroffice, resulting in “like-local” accessspeeds. BranchCache’s Hosted to enable intranet- computers in multiple-user situations, PC SafeGuard will be integratedCache Mode hosts the locally cached accessed data to be into Windows 7. While few detailsdata on a branch office WindowsServer 2008 R2 system, while Distrib- cached locally at has been released, it seems like PC SafeGuard will be able to both lockuted Cache caches the data directlyon branch PCs. the branch office, (portions of) hard drives, and erase all user activity after the user logs off. resulting in “like-Windows TroubleshootingPlatform local” access Fine-Tunable UACWindows Troubleshooting Platform speeds. Four settings will be available: “Neveraims to be a programmable platform — notify”, “Notify when programs try ”it’s based on PowerShell — to facili- to make changes”, “Always notify”tate user troubleshooting. The tool will and the current Vista-default behav-allow administrators to use, customize, and develop Win- ior of “Always Notify and Wait for mydows Troubleshooting Packs to target specific user issues. Response.” Without a doubt, this flexibility will be loved by some and loathed by others.Bitlocker to GoBitlocker’s drive encryption functionality is being extended Windows Credentialsto include USB sticks. Administrators will have control over I have been using the excellent Roboform Password Man-password length, and can even prevent users from writing to ager (which not only safeguards all your passwords in aUSB storage devices before Bitlocker protection has been password repository, but also has the ability to automaticallyapplied. log you in to website interfaces) for years. I’ll be very inter- ested to see how Windows 7’s Windows Credentials stacksIn this day and age of data leaks and insider threats, this is a up, as it is touted to have exactly those capabilities as well.welcome new twist. As you can see, Windows 7 promises a good mix of tools toApplocker help administrators manage systems on their corporate net-Applocker greatly tightens an administrator’s control over works and exert better control over their user environments.what applications users can, and more importantly, cannot Now, the wait begins. n 8 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  10. 10. Get Ready for Windows 7 Gartner: Windows 7 OK for Vista Disgruntled By Stuart J. JohnstonA s Windows 7’s commercial debut looms, one major of VanDyke Software. IT research firm is recommending that if corporate IT shops aren’t already well along in deploying What the Amplitude study found is that only 23 percent of IT Windows Vista, they’d be better off going straight shops surveyed are currently beta testing Windows 7, whileto Vista’s replacement -- Windows 7. about the same number plan to after its official release.“Organizations with a Windows Vista project well underway That still leaves 50 percent that have no plans to test Win-should stay the course, but dows 7 at all at this point. Themost others should target view gets even tougher whenWindows 7,” the research the question comes aroundreport co-authored by Gartner to those who actually plananalysts Michael Silver and to deploy Windows 7 -- 61Stephen Kleynhans says. percent have no current plans to deploy Windows 7.The report reinforces anotherone Gartner released in late Interestingly, those most ame-March urging corporate IT to nable to moving to Windowsbegin planning for Windows 7 7 are shops whose IT budgetsdeployment as soon as it ships increased in 2009. Of those,rather than wait for the first 57 percent plan to deployservice pack before beginning Windows 7 while, of thosethe process. whose budgets decreased, only 37 percent had any plansA recently released survey to deploy.of 320 network and systemsadministrators, though, found that quick migration to Micro- According to the Amplitude Research survey some 41 per-soft’s forthcoming Windows 7 may not be as easy to accom- cent of respondents said their IT budgets declined this year.plish as it is to talk about. “The top two reasons for not deploying Windows 7 wereThe Root of All Deployments ‘Feel more comfortable sticking with current versions ofThe reason: money, of course. Windows (44 percent)’ and ‘Can’t justify the return on in- vestment (33.3 percent),’” Amplitude said in a release.The survey was performed by Amplitude Research on behalf A recently released survey of 320 network and systems administrators,“ though, found that quick migration to Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 7 may not be as easy to accomplish as it is to talk about. ” 9 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  11. 11. Get Ready for Windows 7Should I Stay or Should I Go? likely to run what ships on new PCs, so they will be earlyStill, there are plenty of variables that have to be taken into adopters of Windows 7,” the report says.account. Nothing is cut and dried, and surveys can yield dif-fering results. Meantime, another analyst agrees there’s a lot of pent up demand among consumers and small businesses, but heFor instance, in a survey of 475 IT firms with 1,000 or more cautions that nothing is ever really simple.employees, conducted in February and March, and releasedthis week, another Gartner report found only 12 percent in- “This is a complicated subject because it takes a lot of plan-dicated they have outright canceled a planned client project ning and you’re investing in deciding whether or not to roll outsince October 2008. an operating system,” Michael Cherry, lead analyst for operat- ing systems at Directions on Microsoft, told InternetNews.That doesn’t mean that some projects haven’t been post- com. “poned, however. “Every organization is going to be dif-And a survey released in April by ferent … [and it’s] a time when busi-ChangeWave Research, found that 53percent of 2,000 IT buyers it polled At this point,targeting nesses are sitting on their wallets,” Cherry added.plan to skip Vista altogether and will Windows 7 would add So what other advice do Silver andgo directly from XP to Windows 7. less than six months Kleynhans have to offer?Meanwhile, Silver’s and Kleynhans’report also outlines other important to the schedule and “Organizations that have not preparedissues that may slow corporate adop- would result in a plan to deploy Vista [should] skip Vista and target Windows 7,” the reporttion of Windows 7. that is more politically says. Their rationale is that preparing“Between waiting for vendor supportand testing, planning, preparing, and palatable, better for to deploy Vista will require the same amount of effort as preparing to de-piloting, few organizations will be able users, and results in ploy Windows 7. Why do it twice?to begin large-scale production de-ployments until 12 to 18 months after greater longevity “At this point, targeting Windows 7 would add less than six months to the ”the RTM, in late 2010 or early 2011,”their report says. That could mean a schedule and would result in a planlate payday for Microsoft. that is more politically palatable, better for users, and results in greater longevity.”In fact, that’s significantly later than Microsoft is hoping for-- not exactly the picture of explosive enterprise sales right However, Silver and Kleynhans also have recommendations forout of the chute, although shops with a preponderance of organizations that are already in the midst of deploying Vista.Windows XP machines may move earlier and thus help fuelearly purchase orders. “Continue with Vista, but plan to switch to Windows 7 in late 2010 or early 2011, especially if you’re switching to Vista“With more than half of organizations planning to skip Vista, through a hardware refresh,” they said.most organizations will have to move to Windows 7 to main-tain a supportable environment as Windows XP ages. We In fact, during his opening keynote at Microsoft’s TechEd 2009advise organizations to move off of Windows XP by the end technical developers conference in Los Angeles, senior viceof 2012 to avoid application support problems, even though president of Windows Bill Veghte said that the company isMicrosoft will support Windows XP into April 2014.” now sure it can deliver Windows 7 in time for the holiday sales season. However, he also added his own advice to the mix.If It’s Not One Thing, It’s AnotherSilver’s and Kleynhans’ report highlights some reasons for “If you’re just starting your testing of Vista, with the releaseeconomic optimism. candidate and the quality of that offering, I would switch over and do your testing on the release candidate, and use that“Consumers and small and midsize businesses are more going forward,” Veghte said. n 10 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  12. 12. Get Ready for Windows 7 Windows 7 Security: Good, Bad or Ugly? By Sonny DisciniL ucky for us, much of the long-awaited security function- Windows Filtering Platform ality made its way into the beta build of Windows 7, so Windows 7 introduces something called the Windows Filter- let’s take a look at the features. ing Platform (WFP). The idea is that third parties can take advantage of aspects of the Microsoft Windows Firewall inOld Friends, New Twists their own products. Microsoft says “third-party products alsoReturning from Windows Vista are Kernel Patch Protection, can selectively turn parts of the Windows Firewall on or off,Service Hardening, Data Execution Prevention, Address enabling you to choose which software firewall you want toSpace Layout Randomization, and Mandatory Integrity use and have it co-exist with Windows Firewall.”Levels. While this sounds nice onWindows XP SP2 gave us the paper, I can’t see a vendorSecurity Center. Windows 7 teaming their product withdiscards this and in its place is the Windows firewall. Smartan Action Center that incor- money says they’ll just use theirporates alerts from 10 existing own and ignore the MicrosoftWindows features: Security solution.Center; Problem, Reports, andSolutions, Windows Defender; One nice thing to note aboutWindows Update; Diagnostics; Windows 7 is that it makes itNetwork Access Protection; easier to configure that all-im-Backup and Restore; Recovery; portant home network. Whenand User Account Control. users hit network problems, they curse the firewall andIn Windows 7, users can adjust they’re often right to. Windowsconsent prompt behavior 7 addresses the problem byusing a slider control, if they taking over home networkhave administrative privileges. setup and making sure theMicrosoft says they’ll still be firewall doesn’t interfere.protected against malicious software, even if they never seeanother alert. While this may or may not be true, users have We also see that scrollbars were removed in the configura-been conditioned to see alerts whenever something is hap- tion settings screen, as has the Software Explorer feature,pening. Without them, perhaps a false sense of security will and real-time protection in Windows 7 has been improved todevelop on the part of the end user. reduce the impact on overall system performance; a wel- come change from the bloat of Vista. One nice thing to note about Windows 7 is that it makes it“ easier to configure that all-important home network. ” 11 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.
  13. 13. Get Ready for Windows 7An Inclusive BitLocker on the computer and control how they log on to Windows 7.Vista sailed in along with a fleet of new security features, And System Restore includes a list of programs that will beamong them BitLocker, a whole-disk encryption tool de- removed or added, providing users with more useful informa-signed to protect your data even after an attacker makes off tion before they choose which restore point to use. Restorewith your laptop. BitLocker utilizes a chip called a Trusted points are also available in backups, providing a larger list toProtection Module (TPM). The Vista TPM transparently choose from, over a longer period of time.decrypts the drive once you’ve authenticated yourself with apassword or smart card. A laptop thief can’t break into the I’ve seen more problems caused by System Restore than “locked drive, even after booting solved by it; I’m not a big fan.to a different OS or moving the Still, users often resort to itdrive to another computer. when trying to clean up a real or imagined malware problem.BitLocker drive encryption alsosupports removable storage Biometrics enhancements In Windows 7, you’ll at least have a clear idea of whatdevices, such as flash memory include easier reader collateral damage may result,drives and portable hard driveshas been added in Windows configurations, allowing as it lists all programs and drivers that would be removed7. This means that users cankeep sensitive data on all of users to manage the or brought back by invoking a particular System Restoretheir USB storage devices as fingerprint data stored point. It’s way better thanwell as the physical drives onthe host mentioned above. on the computer and guessing at the right restore point and hoping for the best,As a side note to Bitlocker, control how they log on which is what you have to do now.using groups, you can ban to Windows 7.writing to any removable drive Another enhancement is Ap- ”that isn’t BitLocker-protected. pLocker, accessed throughIt’s a very useful tool against Local Security Policy. It’s athe very real problem known as way to control which programspodslurping. With this policy in place, employees can still users can and can’t use, and it’s a lot more flexible thanbring in the virus-of-the-month on an unprotected drive, but Vista’s Software Restriction Policies. Still, it’s not for thethey can’t take away an unprotected copy of the personnel average user. Most IT shops should be pleased with thisdatabase. It’s also helpful to know that BitLocker to Go also enhancement. I can see it being tailored to just about anyallows users to securely share data with other users who corporate need.have not yet deployed Windows 7. Virtually all the changes in the security area are simplyThat said, the testing I performed proved otherwise. I could tweaking and improving on existing Vista features. But then,not get this to work so I went to Microsoft and they con- that’s what Windows 7 is all about, right? While the en-firmed that this is an issue in the beta build but will be fixed hancements seen thus far in the beta are nice, they aren’tbefore final GA release. stunning. nBiometrics, System Restore and AppLockerBiometrics enhancements include easier reader configura-tions, allowing users to manage the fingerprint data stored 12 Back to contents Get Ready for Windows 7, an Internet.com IT Management eBook. © 2009, WebMediaBrands Inc.