There are quite a few enhancements in Windows 7 that directly address the work of system administrators. In particular, OS deployment will be improved. However, there is no wow feature like the new imaging capabilities of Windows Vista. Also noteworthy is the support of VHD files. This demonstrates that virtualization technology is moving more and more from the server to the desktop. The new PowerShell features are certainly nice, too. It has yet to be seen which of these will also be available on Vista and XP.

VHD image management and deployment ^

  • Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) files can be deployed using Windows Deployment Services
  • VHD files can be managed using DISM (see below)
  • Boot from a VHD file: This feature allows the reuse of the same master image for virtual desktops (VDI) and physical desktops

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool ^


  • A command line tool that combines functionality of International Settings Configuration (IntlCfg.exe), PEImg, and Package Manager (PkgMgr.exe). It allows you to update operating system images (drivers, language packs, features, updates)
  • Vista image management tools still work for Windows 7
  • DISM can also be used for Vista

Dynamic Driver Provisioning ^

  • Drivers can be stored centrally on a server, separate from images
  • They are installed dynamically based on Plug and Play IDs or BIOS information
  • Reduces the number of drivers on an individual machine and potential driver conflicts
  • Reduces size and number of system images
  • Speeds up installation

Multicast Multiple Stream Transfer ^

  • Broadcast image data to multiple clients simultaneously
  • Group clients with similar bandwidth capabilities into network streams
  • Define minimum performance thresholds to automatically remove slower computers from a multicast group

User State Migration Tool (USMT) ^

  • Hardlink migration: Files are not moved on the hard disk but redirected to improve performance; discovers user documents at runtime
  • Support for volume shadow copy: Migrate files that are being used by an application

PowerShell ^


  • Windows 7 will be delivered with PowerShell 2.0
  • PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)
  • PowerShell Remoting: Run scripts remotely on a single or multiple PCs
  • Script Internationalization: Localized messages
  • PowerShell Restricted Shell: Only certain commands and parameters are available
  • Automating Group Policy: Use scripting to manage Group Policy Objects
  • Support for logon, startup, and shutdown PowerShell scripts

Management of external machines ^

  • PCs connected via Direct Access can be managed via Group Policy
  • Can be accessed via Remote Assistance
  • Can be updated via enterprise management tools

Group Policy (improved) ^

  • New policies and preferences: BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, auditing, power management, task scheduling
  • Custom Group Policy preferences
  • Starter Group Policy Objects: Preconfigured administrative templates for recommended policies
  • URL-Based Quality of Service: Prioritize network traffic based on URL via Group Policy

Windows Troubleshooting (improved) ^

windows-7-check-for-solutionsWindows 7 has built-in troubleshooters for performance, programs, devices, networking, printing, display, sound, and power efficiency. (I have to find out what is really new here. Do you have any idea?)

Startup Repair (improved) ^

  • Startup Repair is now installed automatically
  • After an unsuccessful boot, Windows 7 will load Startup Repair and try to automatically repair the installation

Troubleshooting and support (improved) ^


  • Problem Steps Recorder: End users can record their experience with an application failure with each step recorded as a screen shot along with accompanying logs and software configuration data
  • Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) enhancement: Windows 7 automatically installs Windows RE into the operating system partition by default
  • Windows Troubleshooting Packs: Collections of PowerShell scripts and related information that can be deployed via CAB files and executed remotely from the command line or through Group Policy; Troubleshooting Packs are built with the Windows Troubleshooting Toolkit, a GUI that is part of the Windows 7 Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Unified Tracing: A tool that collects network-related event logs and captures packets across all network layers
  • Remote access to reliability data: Access data of the Reliability Monitor through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Device Management (improved) ^


  • Device Stage: A new central location for all external devices that provides information about the device status and lets you run common tasks; the device manufacturers provide the contents for their devices; examples for common tasks: media synchronization with portable media players, PIM synchronization, ringtone editor.
  • Drivers of new devices are automatically downloaded
  • Location Aware Printing: Windows 7 changes the default printer depending on the connected network (home, work, etc.)
  • Support for Bluetooth 2.1: simpler device pairing, better security, better power savings, Group policy support
  • Support for wireless alternatives to USB: Ultra Wideband (UWB), Wireless USB (WUSB), Wireless Host Controller Interface (WHCI), Device Wire Adapter (DWA)
  • Blue-ray Disc write support
  • Sensor and Location Platform: Support for devices such as ambient light sensor, GPS, temperature gauge, etc.
  • Display Color Calibration: Helps adjust an LCD display to be as close as possible to the sRGB standard color space
  • High DPI support: enlarge text display when using high resolutions (This is already possible now, not sure what is new here.)
  • ClearType tuner: (Not sure what is new; do you know?)
  • Improved support for external displays: Windows key + P to toggle between your laptop screen and an external display

If you know of a missing or dropped feature, please leave a comment below or send me a message. Of course, any other response is welcome, too. Please let me know if you have described one the features in your blog or know of a more detailed source. I will add a link then.

  1. nev 14 years ago

    all this, but I bet they didn’t bother to fix the annoying folder moving bug! (that leaves empty folders when moving/merging to an existing folder)

  2. Michael Pietroforte 14 years ago

    I agree, moving files and folders is still problematic. You might want to try one of those Explorer alternatives if you often experience problems with copying files.

  3. muiz 14 years ago

    DISM does NOT work for Vista!

    more here :

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