Windows 7 builds upon the existing Windows Vista technologies and brings more streamlined and efficient desktop deployment options and features. Technological improvements and tools in Windows 7 reduce the time required for the entire evaluation and readiness cycle. The feature upgrades also improve upon the application compatibility within Windows 7.
Feature improvements from previous versions include:
- Overall improvement in the installation experience with faster and consistent setup, powerful task-sequencing and enabling tools, blazing fast transfer of user files and settings.
- Improvements in delivery of Windows Deployment Service thus saving bandwidth with improved speed because of the use of Multiple Stream Transfer over Multicast.
- Dynamic Driver Provisioning optimizes deployment with reduction in images sizes because of dynamic matching of drivers with BIOS properties or Plug and Play Ids during deployment.
- Options for engineering and deploying images enabling administrators to service images throughout the lifecycle of the operating system through the use of a single consolidated toolset.
Installation & File Migration
Windows 7, through the desktop deployment features, offers improvements with faster and consistent setup experience coupled with efficient sequencing tools for installation and fast file and user settings transfer. Administrators and IT Professionals can now reduce or in most cases avoid the deployment impact on the users.
With USMT (User State Migration Tool), administrators and IT Professionals can transfer user files and settings along with the operating system and application settings from one installation of Windows 7 to the other. Hard linking feature enables the migration of files and settings from one place to another without any actual physical movement of the files within the disk. Other features include:
- Offline user state migration.
- Volume Shadow Copy Service for migration of files in use.
- Dynamic discovery of user documents during deployment.
File Delivery & Enhanced Imaging
Windows 7 enables administrators and IT professionals to build and deploy Windows 7 images thus enabling a faster deployment lifecycle. The features and tools include:
- Multiple Stream Transfer over Multicast
- Management & Deployment of Virtual Hard Disk
- Deployment Image Servicing & Management
Application & Hardware Readiness
With the existing features and options available in hardware and application compatibility under Windows Vista, Windows 7 builds upon it a strong base for improving the readiness cycle of administrators and IT Professionals. Few of the features include:
- Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) helps organisations to build comprehensive hardware and application inventory along with the capability of testing and mitigating compatibility issues.
- Microsoft Assessment & Planning (MAP) toolkit enables a detailed and comprehensive hardware and application compatibility report. The feature that makes this toolkit standout is its agent-less nature.
- Windows Compatibility Centre is a unified and online compatibility centre which provides information on both hardware and application compatibility.
- Inbox Feature enables Windows 7 to natively extend and prioritise the list of applications that need mitigation for compatibility issues. The driver model and hardware performance criteria is the same as in Windows Vista, which means that the hardware built for Windows Vista is also compatible with Windows 7.
With new and advanced Windows 7 deployment features, administrators and IT professionals would have improved deployment experience banking on image-engineering tools, faster files and settings transfer and native compatibility migration.