If you are currently testing Windows 7, then you might find the links in this post helpful. With Windows 7, Microsoft released three important tool collections and five walkthroughs that are relevant for system administrators.

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Probably the most important is that there is already a new version of RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools), which allows you to manage Windows Sever 2008 R2. These tools can also be used to administer some roles and features of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003. In my opinion, it was one of Microsoft's biggest mistakes to release Vista without a replacement for the Adminpak tools. This annoyed many administrators. I estimate that approximately 130,000 frustrated admins have accessed my articles to find a solution to this problem. It appears that Microsoft avoided this slip-up this time.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7

There also is a new version of the MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit). I am not really a fan of the MDT 2008. I haven't tried MDT 2010 yet, but I am afraid that the concept hasn't changed.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1

The WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) is an important collection of tools for Windows deployment. Most interesting, certainly, is the new DISM (Deployment Image Servicing tool and Management) that simplifies OS image creation. I hope the existence of this utility shows that Microsoft realized that they have too many deployment tools.

Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows 7 Beta)

Microsoft published a couple of screencasts demonstrating some of the new features that are of interest in an enterprise environment.

AppLocker is the new feature I like most. It allows you to restrict program execution on user desktops based on publisher signature.

Windows 7 Walkthrough: AppLocker

The Problem Steps Recorder enables end-users to record their experience with an application failure.

Windows 7 Walkthrough: Problem Steps Recorder

BitLocker now supports automatic repartitioning if deployed after OS installation. BitLocker to Go allows you to encrypt portable drives.

Windows 7 Walkthrough: BitLocker and BitLocker to Go

The DISM command line tool allows you to update operating system images (drivers, language packs, features, and updates).

Windows 7 Walkthrough: Deployment Image Servicing and Management

Application fixes for Windows Vista that you created with the Compatibility Administrator will still work on Windows 7.

Windows 7 Walkthrough: Enterprise Application Compatibility

The USMT (User State Migration Tool) now supports hardlink migration: Files are not moved on the hard disk but are redirected to improve performance.

Windows 7 Walkthrough: User State Migration Tool

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If you just want an overview of all of the enhancements in Windows 7, you might want to have a look at my Windows 7 complete feature list and also at my article about the better-together-features of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.


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