As we get close to the general availability of Windows 7 on October 22nd it’s a good time to think about deploying Windows 7. Well we have been very busy with making sure we remove as many deployment blockers as we can. We have worked hard to make sure we remove as many of these as we can. Whether it’s application compatibility, or just the method of getting Windows 7 out on scale you need the right tools. We have just made some announcements around a couple of technologies or resources that will help you get there. More Details below!
Let’s face reality here. I know and most of the customers I’ve spoken to are still on Windows XP and their migrations to Windows 7 will be coming from this platform. So we have created the Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration Guide which is now live on TechNet. This is a collaboration of many teams inside Microsoft to make sure that you have the best resources to migrate smoothly to Windows 7.
Successful migration to Windows 7 is not going to be just about application compatibility. It’s about navigating the jungle of methods to get to the ultimate goal. A happy user migrated with all their applications in tact and working. Sounds easy right? Well from the customers I’ve spoken to this is not the easiest task in the world. So to address the need for clear guidance on deployment; a number of teams within Microsoft collaborated to create a clear and concise guide. The guide is divided into 5 sections. Each guide is led in by an introductory video. Below is a list of each section
- Collect, Analyze and Test
- Remediate Applications – Fix
- Remediate Applications – Virtualize
- Deploy Operating System
The fourth bullet leads me onto another great announcement around Virtualization and XP Mode
Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode Release Candidate
We are pleased to announce the release candidate of Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode. Many of you have used the beta and provided us with feedback so thank you for that. This release includes many fixes to improve functionality, reliability and robustness of the product. Some of the key changes include:
- Manage USB devices with virtual applications - You can attach and detach USB devices while running virtual applications. The USB device management UI can be easily accessed form the right click context menu of the Virtual Applications icon, on task bar.
- Jump list for virtual applications - Right clicking on the virtual application icon, on Windows 7 taskbar, displays a jump list that allows one to easily launch virtual applications from the taskbar.
- Drive share settings - You can select the host computer drives that you would like to share with the virtual machine; in the virtual machine settings.
- Windows XP Mode tutorial - A tutorial that introduces the user to Windows XP Mode features is displayed during Windows XP Mode Setup.
- Faster Windows XP Mode setup - Improvements have been done to reduce the setup time for Windows XP Mode.
- Compact differencing disks - You can now compact the differencing virtual hard disk to reduce the size occupied on the disk.
- Support for optional components install in XP Mode - Windows XP optional components can be installed in Windows XP Mode.
- Choose destination location for XP Mode files - You can choose the destination folder to store all virtual machine files for Windows XP Mode during XP Mode setup.
One thing to note: Beta to Release Candidate upgrades are not supported. You will need to uninstall the the beta version before you install the release candidate.
So together I think these are great resources to help with your deployment projects around Windows 7. We have tried really hard to address common deployment blockers and to help smooth the migration path for customers moving from older operating systems to Windows 7.