Windows 7 Learning Guide

The recent release of Windows 7 SP1 means Microsoft's newest operating system is likely coming to a desktop near you. Prepare for the unexpected with this guide.

With Windows XP’s death on the horizon and the recent release of Windows 7 SP1, there’s no better time than the present to plan for a desktop migration to Windows 7. While understanding the intricacies of Microsoft’s newest desktop operating system is crucial to your success, maneuvering through the hype can be frustrating.

But don’t give up.

This guide breaks down Windows 7 into manageable parts. From migration tips and tricks to the top new tools and features to security improvements, we’ve got you covered.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Latest news | Getting started | Migration | New features |
Security | Management

 
LATEST NEWS ON WINDOWS 7

Windows 7 SP1 brings maturity, but not much else
The release of Windows 7 SP1 may not be packed with new features, but it does give organizations the green light to upgrade to the latest OS.

More Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 moves closer to final release
 

GETTING STARTED WITH WINDOWS 7

Are you ready to migrate to Windows 7?
Windows 7 can greatly benefit your organization. Therefore, the question is not if you should upgrade, but when.

More When to move off XP, on to Windows 7

Preparing your Windows XP enterprise for a Windows 7 migration
Concerned about software compatibility and manageability with Windows 7? It’s time to get over it. These troubles have mostly been solved, and the real challenge is deployment.

Fast Guide Converting from Windows XP to Windows 7

How Windows 7's SKUs compare with Windows XP's editions
Are you perplexed by the various editions of Windows XP and Windows 7? Our Windows expert clarifies the differences.

Has Microsoft corrected Vista annoyances in Windows 7?
A handful of experts put Windows 7 through its paces to see if it finally exorcises the demons of Vista.

 
MIGRATING TO WINDOWS 7

Ten essentials for enterprise desktop migrations to Windows 7
Without proper planning and execution, desktop migrations can quickly become a money pit. In part one of this series, see what you should consider when preparing a move to Windows 7.

Planning your Windows 7 migration
Before you make the leap to Windows 7, consider issues like architecture and application compatibility.

Before you upgrade Secure Windows XP

How to install a clean version of Windows 7
Starting from scratch may be easier than upgrading from Windows XP or Vista. Migrate to Windows 7 with these steps.

Simplifying Windows 7 rollouts with VDI
Desktop virtualization can help enterprises migrate to Windows 7 and may yield an immediate cost savings.

✓ Checklist Upgrading from Windows XP or Vista
These steps can help you to migrate from Windows XP to Vista and then to Windows 7.

MIGRATION TOOLS

A guide to Windows 7 migration tools
Upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP is no easy task, but several tools from Microsoft and third-party vendors can simplify the process.

More on the tools Compare the products

Slideshow Windows 7 migration tools at a glance
Short on time? Check out this slideshow for a quick look at the pros and cons of six migration tools.

When VDI won't do: Tools to ease migrations from XP to Windows 7
Few companies that upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 will use VDI -- including a division of Citrix Systems. They may use one of these tools instead.

The User State Migration Tool
Windows XP users must migrate to Vista before they can install Windows 7. The User State Migration Tool helps simplify this process.

 
NEW FEATURES AND TOOLS IN WINDOWS 7

Windows XP Mode
Virtually and seamlessly emulates Windows XP and its associated hardware on a Windows 7 PC

Problem Step Recorder
New tool that makes remote technical support easier to administer

Deployment Image Servicing and Management
Simplifies desktop image management in Windows 7

THE WINDOWS SERVER 2008 R2 CONNECTION

DirectAccess
Enables Windows 7 systems to be virtualized without a VPN

BranchCache
Helps reduce network traffic over slow WAN links

AppLocker
Microsoft's next generation application management technology

Native-boot VHDs
Makes deploying custom desktop images simpler

Windows SteadyState imitation
Restores a past system configuration

 
WINDOWS 7 SECURITY

How Windows 7 stands up to security tests
Windows 7 is proving to be faster and more stable than its predecessor, but how does it measure up to security tests?

XP, Vista or Windows 7: Which is the most secure desktop OS?
Your favorite desktop operating system may not necessarily be the safest. See how XP, Vista and Windows 7 stack up in terms of security.

More Security certifications are still necessary

Window 7 security vulnerabilities you don’t know about
Just because Windows 7 is Microsoft's most secure desktop OS doesn't mean it's trouble-free. Before you migrate, address these new and old security issues.

How to keep Windows 7 passwords under lock and key
Protecting enterprise desktops requires more than locking down passwords at the operating system level. Even with Windows 7, you should watch for other password vulnerabilities.

Securing Windows 7
This excerpt from "Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed" dissects Windows 7 security, providing tips on protecting your PC from computer hackers and advice on managing Windows Firewall.

Confirm crucial security settings are enabled
Protect your computer from direct attacks

SECURITY TOOLS

Should you use third-party patching tools to keep Windows 7 secure?
Don't assume that Microsoft's security updates will keep your Windows 7 desktops safe. Third-party patching products may be a better option.

Leaning on Windows 7 security tools in lean times
There are a plethora of features in Windows 7 that can keep your desktops secure without breaking the bank.

BitLocker
Allows users to lock down workstations and mobiles devices

 
MANAGING USERS AND SYSTEMS

Five things your team loves to hate about Windows 7
Microsoft says Windows 7 will make your IT team's life blissful. The reality is that IT pros are experiencing some headaches.

Troubleshooting Windows 7 with built-in tools and online resources
Imagine a world where users can solve their desktop issues without calling help desk. These Windows 7 resources may bring you one step closer to that IT Utopia.

Top 10 command-line commands for managing desktops
You don't always need fancy software to manage Windows 7 desktops. These 10 command-line utilities can help you handle scripting tasks.

Top 5 registry keys
Manage user accounts, prevent a computer from rebooting after installing patches and more with these registry keys.

Controlling power consumption in Windows 7
Power management reports, workstation settings and Group Policy settings in Windows 7 can help organizations save energy -- and money.

Managing file associations
Applications can sometimes be greedy and hijack file extensions. Learn how to take control and reassign these extensions.

Installing device drivers
Windows 7 only lets you install device drivers that have been code-signed. But there is a workaround for Microsoft's cross-signed driver requirement.

How to make legacy applications run on Windows 7
Windows 7 was designed to avoid the application-compatibility problems of Vista, but some legacy apps still require extra effort to work properly.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Latest news | Getting started | Migration | New features |
Security | Management

This was first published in March 2011

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