Monday, January 17, 2011

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What Are The Improvements Of Windows 7 Over Vista

The prospect of migrating an entire company to a new operating system is almost always a daunting venture. You'll need to make sure you get a return on the significant investment that you'll make in the product itself. The staff, time and resources needed to install it and work out the inevitable kinks.

Windows 7 has changed the name, look, feel, features, speed, and even the logo’s to part ways with Vista because of the bad vibes that still resonate. Windows Vista met with almost immediate critical disapproval when it was released in January 2007.

To be fair, Vista had many improvements over the XP operating system, including better security, file sharing, and search capabilities. But those were largely overshadowed by its shortcomings: constant security pop ups, excessive use of RAM, an overly aggressive User Account Control (UAC) feature, hardware incompatibility, and more.

Now comes Windows 7 and if the early reviews are any gauge including my review, Microsoft appears to have ironed out many of the issues that haunted Vista. In fact, some reviewers including myself feel it is the best Microsoft Operating System ever produced.
Windows 7 Improvements Over VistaImproved security 
Security is always a big issue with Windows. Witness the flurry of activity and tension that surrounds the typical Patch Tuesday. Windows 7 addresses the issue with a number of security upgrades. Microsoft has added the BitLocker full-volume encryption feature that came out with Vista. The Windows 7 version still uses a 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption algorithm, but is now more flexible and simplifies drive encryption by automatically creating hidden boot partitions.

The result, users no longer need to repartition their drives after installation. And where Vista users required a unique recovery key for each protected volume, Windows 7 users only need a single encryption key. A new feature called “BitLocker To Go” lets users encrypt removable storage devices with a password or a digital certificate. 

New improvements for IT administrators
A plethora of new options that make life easier for IT professionals as shown below:
  • AppLocker: This new feature is a control policy that allows administrators to precisely spell out what applications users can run on their desktops. It  can also be used to block unauthorized or unlicensed software and pplications.
  • Multiple Active Firewall Policies: This feature provides a big improvement over Vista, which automatically set firewall policies depending on the type of network connection you chose such as home, public, or work. Remote Vista users couldn’t connect to multiple networks while on the road, or if someone working from home used a VPN, he or she couldn't apply settings to connect to the corporate network. Windows 7's Multiple Active Firewall Policies allows IT professionals to create multiple sets of rules for remote and desktop employees. 

  • DirectAccess: A feature provides a secure way to manage and update individual PCs remotely. It uses IPv6 and IPSec protocols to create a secure, two-way connection from a remote user's PC to the corporate network. Users benefit by not having to manually set up VPN connections and IT professionals enjoy the ease of distributing patches and updates whenever remote workers are connected to the network. 

  • Improved Windows Search: Is a new feature which allows for faster more thorough searches, and also provides IT administrators with better per-user policy oversight and the ability to manage resource utilization by controlling how desktop search accesses network resources. Additional improvements were the seek-and-find capabilities with Federated Search, which combines desktop, SharePoint, and Internet search methods and allows users to scan external hard drives, networked PCs, and even remote data sources. Another new feature enables the user to search for identical copies of files on drives.

  • Upgraded Windows Recovery Environment: A feature Microsoft introduced in Vista and was a replacement of the Recovery Console in Windows XP. The new upgrade allows users to perform a range of system and data recovery functions, including checking for defective memory, repairing boot-level startup issues, returning the system to earlier configurations.
AeroSnap Desktop Feature
This is a new feature of Windows desktop. If you pull a window to either edge of the desktop, it automatically makes each screen half the screen and compares the two windows side by side. 

AeroPeek Desktop Feature
This is another new feature of Windows desktop. In XP and Vista you had a button to minimize all the windows and see the desktop. The problem was that all the windows you had minimized you then had to maximize one by one. The new button to the right of the clock makes all the windows invisible when  pushed. You can even click on desktop items and open them. Press the button again and all your open windows come back the way they were before you pressed the button. 

Improved Backup Utility
This improved backup utility now gives users control over which folders they want to back up which was a restriction in Vista, which allowed backups on a per-volume basis only.

Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC
These two new features address issues of incompatibility for applications designed to run older XP applications. This shows Microsoft is intent on retiring XP as a supported product in the near future.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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