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Best Windows Story contest‏ : you could win a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Microsoft is giving away a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate to the ten (10) best Windows stories from IT Professionals. Stories can be related to how Windows 7 saved your company money, solving your application compatibility issues, deployment, management of your installations, and virtually anything else. The more compelling your story, the better chance you have to win.

OFFICIAL RULES

PLEASE NOTE:  It is your sole responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate in trade promotions.  If you are participating in violation of your employer’s policies, you may be disqualified from entering or receiving prizes.  Microsoft disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between an employee and their employer related to this matter, and prizes will only be awarded in compliance with the employer’s policies.

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Microsoft is committed to complying with government gift and ethics rules and therefore government employees are not eligible.

This Contest is hosted in the United States, and entry information is collected on computers in the United States. This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest. If you do not agree with this provision and these Official Rules, please do not enter this Contest.

COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Best Windows Story contest promotion will operate (“Contest”). In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of this Contest.  “You” refers to an eligible Contest entrant. 

CONTEST DESCRIPTION: 

This is a skill-based Contest. 

The object of this Contest is to recognize your story about how implementing Windows 7 has helped your business. Stories can describe how Windows 7 saved your company money, solved for application compatibility issues, helped with deployment or management of your installations, or virtually anything else. For purposes of this Contest, each “story” you submit will be called an entry. All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?

This Contest starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on December 15, 2010 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on January 31, 2011 (“Entry Period”).

CAN I ENTER?

You are eligible to enter this Contest if you meet the following requirements at time entry:

  • You are an IT Professional 18 years of age or older whose business has previously deployed Windows 7;  and
    • If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest; and
  • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
    • PLEASE NOTE: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries / regions are not eligible to participate.
  • You are NOT an employee of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
  • You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest; and
  • You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.

This Contest is void outside the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ELIGIBLE ENTRY?

 To be eligible for judging an entry must meet the following content / technical requirements:

  • Story must be no more than 2 double spaced pages with normal margins.
  • Story must be about how your business was helped by implementing Windows 7 or migrating to Windows 7 from Windows XP or Windows Vista.
  • Story must be written and submitted in English
  • Story must be submitted in .doc or .docx format to WinStory@microsoft.com no later than January 31, 2011 at midnight Pacific time.

In addition:

  • your entry must be your own original work; and
  • your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • you must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and
  • your entry must not otherwise violate the rights of any other person or company by using their trademarks, music, logos, names or images without their express written consent.

Entries may NOT contain, as determined by us, in our sole and absolute discretion, any content that:

  • is sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing) or a particular political agenda;
  • is obscene or offensive;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which we wish to associate; and/or violates any law;

We reserve the right to reject any entry, in our sole and absolute discretion, that we determine does not meet the above criteria.

HOW WILL MY ENTRY BE POTENTIALLY USED?

Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry.  However, by submitting your entry, you:

  • are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest; and (ii) feature your entry and all content in connection with the marketing, sale, or promotion of this Contest (including but not limited to internal and external sales meetings, conference presentations, tradeshows, and screen shots of the Contest entry in press releases) in all media (now known or later developed)
  • agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you granted above;
  • understand and acknowledge that the Promotion Parties may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry; 
  • understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry.  By entering this Contest, you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law; 
  • understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules

Please note that following the end of this Contest your entry may be posted on a website selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website.  We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this website.  While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry.

If you do not want to grant us these rights to your entry, please do not enter this Contest.

HOW DO I ENTER?

To enter, send an email to WinStory@microsoft.com. Emails must include your story as an attachment and your contact information including first/last name, business, and email address.

By submitting your story, you will receive one (1) entry into the Contest.

We will only accept one (1) entry per person.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
  • Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above.

WINNER DETERMINATION AND PRIZES

On or around February 28, 2011, a panel of judges will review all eligible entries received and select ten (10) winners of the Contest Prizes described below based upon judging criteria described below.

Judging Criteria

  • 25% – Compelling story about the value Windows 7 provides to your organization
  • 25% – Ability to overcome migration or deployment challenges
  • 25% – Solutions used to overcome challenges
  • 25% – Ability to clearly document your story

The decisions of the judges are final and binding.  If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than described above.

In the event of a tie between any eligible entries, an additional judge will break the tie based on the judging criteria described above.  The decisions of the judges are final and binding.  If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than the number of Contest Prizes described below.

Contest Prizes

Ten (10) Grand Prize. A Not for Resale English version of Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $299.99.

The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes: $2999.90

We will only award one (1) prize per person.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address, the phone number, or mailing address (if any) provided at time of entry within seven (7) days following completion of judging.  If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award to a runner-up.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter the Contest. If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification. If you are a potential winner and you are 18 or older, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf.  If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select a runner-up.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Contest:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services.  However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner.  If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we may award it to a runner up; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible for this Contest, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and / or terms and conditions. 

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS AM I AGREEING TO BY ENTERING?

By entering this Contest you agree:

  • To abide by these Official Rules; and
  • To release and hold harmless Microsoft and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Contest, or any prize won; and
  • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Contest; and
  • That, by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CONTEST IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED?

This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest.  

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CONTEST CAN’T RUN AS PLANNED?

If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest.  This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Contest, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHO WON?

To request a winners list, please send an email to WinStory@microsoft.com and we will provide you with a list of winner who received a prize worth $25.00 or more. This list will be available until March 31, 2011.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CONTEST?

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

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Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC. Detailed list of Improvements and others questions

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Microsoft has made available a Release Candidate (RC) for Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. SP1 includes both a roll-up of operating system updates and several new capabilities for Windows Server.

Q: Can I install the Release Candidate over the Beta of SP1?
A.
 No. You must uninstall the beta.

Q: Can I install the RC on an evaluation version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2?
A.
Yes. The RC of SP1 can install on RTM evaluation versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Q: There are several downloads available. Which one should I choose?
A: There are two ways you can obtain the service pack RC. You can download a special key to enable Windows Update to offer you the service pack RC, or you can download the service pack directly. For each download method, you should choose the correct download for your platform (x86, IA64 or x64).

Q: Should customers who are considering deploying Windows 7 wait for SP1?
A:
No. Windows 7 is a high quality release and provides many benefits to consumers and businesses alike.  SP1 will include all updates previously available to Windows 7 users through Windows Update, so there is no reason to wait or delay their use of Windows 7.

Q. Can I upgrade from the RC builds to the final build of SP1?
A.
No. You will have to uninstall the Service Pack or do a clean install of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Q. Will there be a slipstream build of SP1 RC?
A.
No. The RC will only be available as the service pack update itself. You will need to have a release to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to install the RC of the service pack.

Q. What languages will be released at RC?
A.
  For RC, we will release English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

Q: Which improvements are included in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1?
A. 
• Dynamic Memory – Dynamic Memory allows for memory on a host machine to be pooled and dynamically distributed to virtual machines as necessary. Memory is dynamically added or removed based on current workloads, and is done so without service interruption.
• Microsoft RemoteFX – a new set of remote user experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual desktops, session-based desktops and remote applications
• Enhancements to scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess – improvements have been made to enhance scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess, through the addition of support for 6to4 and ISATAP addresses when using DirectAccess in conjunction with Network Load Balancing (NLB).
• Support for Managed Service Accounts (MSAs) in secure branch office scenarios – enhanced support for managed service accounts (MSAs) to be used on domain-member services located in perimeter networks (also known as DMZs or extranets).
• Support for increased volume of authentication traffic on domain controllers connected to high-latency networks – more granular control of the maximum number of possible concurrent connections to a domain controller, enabling a greater degree of performance tuning for service providers.
• Enhancements to Failover Clustering with Storage – SP1 enables enhanced support for how Failover Clustering works with storage that is not visible for all cluster nodes. In SP1, improvements have been made to the Cluster Validation and multiple Failover Cluster Manager wizards to allow workloads to use disks that are shared between a subset of cluster nodes.

Q: Which improvements are included in Windows 7 SP1?
A. 
• Additional support for communication with third-party federation services – Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol).
• Improved HDMI audio device performance – Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.
• Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents – Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.

Q: Changes common to both client and server platforms:
A. 
• Change to behavior of “Restore previous folders at logon” functionality – SP1 changes the behavior of the “Restore previous folders at logon” function available in the Folder Options Explorer dialog. Prior to SP1, previous folders would be restored in a cascaded position based on the location of the most recently active folder. That behavior changes in SP1 so that all folders are restored to their previous positions.
• Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec – Support for additional identification types has been added to the Identification field in the IKEv2 authentication protocol. This allows for a variety of additional forms of identification (such as E-mail ID or Certificate Subject) to be used when performing authentication using the IKEv2 protocol.
• Support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) – Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) is a 256 bit instruction set extension for processors. AVX is designed to allow for improved performance for applications that are floating point intensive. Support for AVX is a part of SP1 to allow applications to fully utilize the new instruction set and register extensions.

Windows 7 SP1: RemoteFX. Steps to provide the same user experience as though they were running on a physical computer

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The RemoteFX feature allows Windows 7 SP1 and applications running in virtual machines to provide the same user experience as though they were running on a physical computer.

The RemoteFX feature also allows remote users to redirect local USB devices to their Remote Desktop sessions.( I will talk about this in my next article )

The following steps will help you understand how RemoteFX improves the user experience when running Windows 7 and applications in a virtualized environment :

1. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

  • Verify that the appropriate device drivers have been installed for the 3D accelerated video display adapter.Unless the appropriate device drivers are installed for the 3D accelerated video display adapter, you cannot start the Windows 7 virtual machine with the RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter Support enabled
  • Install the Hyper-V server role.
  • Install the Remote Desktop Services server role with the following role services:

 Remote Desktop Virtualization Host
 Core Services
 RemoteFX

 

2.Install Windows 7 SP1.

  • Enable Remote Desktop connections
  • Shutdown the Windows 7 virtual machine.

3. Enable RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter Support on Windows 7 Virtual Machine.

The RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter Support must be added to the Windows 7 virtual machine by performing the following steps on the computer running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:

  • Start Hyper-V Manager.
  • In Hyper-V Manager, select the Windows 7 virtual machine and in the Actions pane click Settings.
  • In the navigation pane, under the Hardware section, click Add Hardware.
  • Add the adapter; start the virtual machine; verify that the adapter is installed and then restart the machine.
  • In the properties pane, click RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter, and then click Add.
  • The RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter appears in the list of hardware in the Hardware section as show in the following figure.
  • Start the virtual machine; verify that you can login and that you have loaded the driver. The VM will ask to be restarted at this point, perform the restart.

4. To checkout that RemoteFX is properly installed and configured :

  • Start the virtual machine running Windows 7 SP1.
  • Establish a Remote Desktop session with Windows 7 SP1 by using the Remote Desktop Connection client in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • On the Local Resources tab(Remote Desktop Connection client), in Apply Windows key combinations, select one of the following:
    • Only when using full screen. Select this option if you are going to run the Remote Desktop session in full screen.
    • On the remote computer. Select this option if you are going to run the Remote Desktop session in a window.
  • On the Experience tab, in Performance section, select LAN (10Mbps or higher) and verify that all the check boxes are selected.

  • Log on Windows 7 SP1.
  • Change the theme for the Windows 7 to use an Aero theme. The desktop theme should appear with all the Aero features, such as transparency.

As you can see the RemoteFX feature allows Windows 7 SP1 and applications running in virtual machines to provide the same user experience as though they were running on a physical computer.

 

Other improvements in Windows 7 SP1 :

· Additional support for communication with third-party federation services – Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol).
·  Improved HDMI audio device performance – Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.
· Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents – Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.

New Dell’s smartphone Venue Pro running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Hera are some of its key features of the new Dell’s smartphone, running Windows Phone 7 :

  • Stunning 4.1” WVGA AMOLED capacitive, multi-touch display
  • A full portrait QWERTY keyboard to provide a  better viewing & messaging experience
  • Supported with T-Mobile service
  • Elliptical, slender form provides elegance in a pocket-friendly size
  • Gorilla Glass for unprecedented durability and scratch resistance

Some of the highlights and use cases for the new Windows Phone 7 :

  • People hub:  Enter social central to scan Windows Live and Facebook feeds and photos, in addition to dialing or texting friends in the address book.
  • Pictures hub:  Share photos easily from pictures saved to the phone, Facebook and Windows Live. Go from pocket to picture in seconds with a press of the camera button, and send photos from the hub to friends or post to Windows Live or Facebook.
  • Games hub: Play games with friends, track scores and wins in the gamer profile. With more than 50 popular game titles available at launch, try-before-you-buy demos, Xbox LIVE leader boards, turn-based multiplayer, achievements and more, Windows Phone 7 brings the quality, consistency and community of the Xbox experience to gamers on the go.
  • Music + Video: Play movies, TV shows and music quickly. Enjoy custom playlists, listen to podcasts and recommend favorite songs to friends.
  • Office hub:  View, edit, share and sync Microsoft Office documents. Collaborate with co-workers through SharePoint Workspace Mobile.
  • Marketplace hub: Get quality applications like games, music, entertainment, news, sports, social networking, productivity, travel and many more. Apps are tested and certified to deliver a consistently great experience.  Marketplace is also accessible through a PC client that is integrated into Microsoft’s popular Zune software.

The question is when the Venue Pro is comming to Australia?

Want to hear what people are saying about the all-new Dell Venue Pro? Follow the conversation on Twitter using the #DellVenuePro and #windowsphone hashtags.

The Last Mile: Pilot and Deploy Windows® 7

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable

The Last Mile: Pilot and Deploy Windows® 7

ADD TO CALENDAR (ICS)
ADD TO CALENDAR (VCS)

On April 29th, join Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich, as he will be leading a discussion around the process of planning, testing, assessing and rolling out Windows 7 in an enterprise organization.

Mark will be joined by a panel of IT professionals who are currently in the piloting and deployment process, along with Microsoft subject matter experts who can speak in depth about the technologies. The event will be broadcast live over the web at 9:00 am PDT, and will be available for on-demand viewing following the broadcast. The discussion will be open and candid, with the panel sharing insights, dispelling myths and getting down to the real story around technical adoption of Windows technologies. Specific topics will include the role of the pilot and the critical information it provides, best practices and tips & tricks for ensuring a successful effort, tools and technologies that will help automate the pilot and deployment processes, and conducting a frank post-pilot assessment. During the event, Mark will field questions coming in via the web from viewers across the globe.

Missed a previous Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable? Gain insight, tips, and tricks from Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich, industry experts, and IT professionals from around the world from these recordings:
http://technet.microsoft.com/windows/dd421882.aspx

Categories: Windows 7

New features in the Remote Desktop Client RDC 7.0

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment
 
The RDC 7.0 client update contains the following new features.
The RDC 7.0 client can be used to connect to legacy terminal servers or to remote desktops as before. However, the new features that are mentioned in this article are available only when the client connects to a remote computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2
 

Web Single Sign-On (SSO) and Web forms-based authentication

Remote Desktop (RD) Web Access now uses forms-based authentication to improve the user experience. Web SSO makes sure that after a user is logged on, no additional passwords are required for RD Gateway, RD Session Host servers and RemoteApp programs.
For security, Web SSO requires remote applications to be signed using a certificate from a trusted issuer.


Access to personal virtual desktops by using RD Connection Broker

Users can access personal virtual desktops when they use the new Remote Desktop Virtualization Host in Windows Server 2008 R2. Personal desktops are assigned to users on a one-to-one basis and maintain state over time.

Access to virtual desktop pools by using RD Connection Broker

Users can access virtual desktop pools when they use the new Remote Desktop Virtualization Host in Windows Server 2008 R2. Pooled desktops are shared between multiple users, and all changes a user makes are typically rolled back when the user logs off.

Status & disconnect system tray icon

A single system tray icon enables users to see all of their remote connections. The user can disconnect all or individual connections that use this icon. The icon appears only when opening RDP connections which are associated with a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection feed.

RD Gateway-based device redirection enforcement

In Windows Server 2008, it was possible for non-Microsoft Remote Desktop clients to override the gateway device redirection controls. In Windows Server 2008 R2, device redirection settings are defined in RD Gateway and can be configured not to be overridden.

RD Gateway system and logon messages

System and logon messages can be added to RD Gateway and displayed to the remote desktop user. System messages can be used to inform users of server maintenance issues such as shutdowns and restarts. Logon messages can be used to display a logon notice to users before they gain access to remote resources.

RD Gateway background authorization & authentication

Background authentication and authorization requests are performed after a configured session timeout is reached. Sessions for users whose property information has not changed are not affected, and authentication and authorization requests are sent in the background.

RD Gateway idle & session time-outs

Configurable idle and session time-outs with RD Gateway provide better control of users who connect through RD Gateway. An idle time-out lets the user reclaim resources that are used by inactive user sessions without affecting the user’s session or data. This helps free up resources on the RD Gateway server.

NAP remediation with RD Gateway

NAP remediation allows you to manage remote clients by updating them with the latest software updates and settings. This helps keep remote clients in compliance with network security policies.

Windows Media Player redirection

Windows Media Player Redirection enables content hosted in Windows Media Player to be redirected to the client for decoding on users’ computers. This improves the quality of the video and makes sure that video and audio are always in sync. This works for both full Windows Media Player and Windows Media Player controls hosted in Web pages.

Bidirectional audio

You can redirect audio recording devices such as microphones on the client computer. This is ideal for applications such as Windows 7 voice recognition, and applications that record audio.

Multiple monitor support

In Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008, Terminal Services supported only monitor spanning. Remote Desktop Services now includes multiple monitor support for up to 16 monitors, and works for both Remote Desktop and RemoteApp programs.
Note For connections with multiple monitor support enabled, AeroGlass support is currently not supported and will be turned off.

Enhanced video playback

Bitmap acceleration improves the remote display of graphics-intensive applications such as PowerPoint, Flash, and Silverlight.
 
 

Functionality available only when connecting from Windows 7 to Windows 2008 R2

Language Bar docking

RemoteApp allows users to use their docked Language Bar with their RemoteApp applications just as they do with the local applications.
This productive functionality was previously unavailable. Instead, users had to use the floating Language bar.


Remote application task scheduler

Remote application task scheduler functionality automatically starts remote applications on the Remote Desktop client required by the user. The client computer must have Windows 7 installed to use this feature.

Aero Glass support

Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 did not support Aero Glass remoting for sessions. This is now supported in Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services, but is incompatible with multi-monitor support.


Start applications and desktops from ‘RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

Users can subscribe to all of their RemoteApp programs and desktops which are then listed in their local Start menu. The list is automatically updated as items are added or deleted

 
Categories: Windows 7

Some Good Reasons to Switch to Windows 7…. and there are a lot more….

August 21, 2009 Leave a comment

 

The overall presentation of Windows 7 is familiar enough to welcome XP users, but fundamentally it’s different enough to make you change the way you think of Microsoft.

Networking and mobility

DirectAccess

This item applies to Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.

DirectAccess includes many improvements in smart card use, diagnostics, and user experience:

  • Smart cards. Smart card support no longer requires Windows 7 Domain Functional Mode. Smart card management has been simplified to focus on edge enforcement as opposed to edge enforcement and local client enforcement. Beta feedback suggested that the local client enforcement option could create an increased number of support issues for organizations. Therefore, the option to enforce smart cards for all interactive logins is no longer available in the DirectAccess Wizard. Also, if a smart card is required, there is an enhanced user notification that is provided to help the user learn when a smart card is required.

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  • Troubleshooting. Support for troubleshooting is enhanced, including a new Windows Troubleshooting entry point within Control Panel. If a resource is not reachable (for example, a Web site fails to load), use the Diagnose Connection in Internet Explorer or Troubleshoot problems entry points to help determine the cause of the issue.

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  • User experience. Corporate Connectivity Notification has been removed to simplify the user experience; only Internet Access is displayed. If a resource is not reachable, the user should use the troubleshooting features to determine the reason.

For more information, see the DirectAccess (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=150441) home page on Microsoft® TechNet.

Transparent caching

Prior to Windows 7, to open a file across a slow network, client computers always retrieved the file from the server, even if the client computer had recently read the file. With Windows 7 transparent caching, client computers cache remote files more aggressively, reducing the number of times a client computer might have to retrieve the same data from a server.

With transparent caching, the first time a user opens a file in a shared folder, Windows 7 reads the file from the server and then stores it in a cache on the computer’s hard disk drive. The second and subsequent times a user reads the same file, Windows 7 retrieves the cached file from disk instead of reading it from the server. To provide data integrity, Windows 7 always contacts the server to ensure the cached copy is up-to-date. The cache is never accessed if the server is unavailable, and updates to the file are always written directly to the server.

Transparent caching is not enabled by default on fast networks. IT professionals can use Group Policy to enable transparent caching, to improve the efficiency of the cache, and to save disk space on the client computer. They can configure the amount of disk space the cache uses and prevent specific file types from being synchronized.

As the feature name implies, the benefit is transparent to end users, providing a branch office experience that more closely resembles the experience of being on the same LAN as a server. Additionally, transparent caching can reduce bandwidth use across WAN links.

Security

Protect data on computers and devices

The Windows 7 partition drive size (required for BitLocker™ and the Windows Recovery Environment) has been reduced from 200 MB to 100 MB.

AppLocker

These items apply to Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.

  • The AppLocker UI includes a new administrative template, which can be configured by an administrator to display a customized URL when AppLocker blocks an application from starting. The message can be used to reduce help desk calls by directing users to a help desk intranet site.

    To customize the administrative template, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Group Policy Management snap-in, right-click a Group Policy object (GPO), and then click Edit.

    2. In the Group Policy Management Editor snap-in, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Explorer.

    3. In the details pane, under Setting, double-click Set a support web page link.

    4. Select Enabled, and then type a custom URL in the Support Web page URL text box.

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    5. Click OK.

  • New Windows PowerShell cmdlets, used in conjunction with the AppLocker UI, provide building blocks that help author, test, maintain, and troubleshoot AppLocker policies. These cmdlets allow an organization to build and import new AppLocker rules from event log information collected by running AppLocker in audit mode. As a result, these cmdlets help automate the IT processes required to build appropriate rule sets easily and confidently.

User Account Control

In the beta release, a user could change the notification level in the User Account Control (UAC) control panel without receiving a prompt for administrative credentials. The UAC control panel now runs in a high integrity process; changing the level of the UAC prompts for confirmation. When a user is logged on with a standard user account, that user must provide administrative credentials to change the default UAC notification level.

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Management

Windows Remote Management and Windows PowerShell remoting

The default HTTP/HTTPS ports for Windows Remote Management (WinRM) and Windows PowerShell remoting have changed from 80/443 to 5985/5986 since the beta release. This change provides a more secure default configuration by avoiding accidental exposure of the WinRM interface to Web traffic on an Internet-facing server.

As a result of this change, pre-RC and post-RC computers that are not configured properly cannot communicate. When pre-RC and post-RC computers are used together for remote management, either directly (using the WinRM command-line tool or the WSMan APIs) or through an application that uses WinRM (such as Windows PowerShell or Event Collector), an error message occurs. This is the same error message that displays when the server has not been configured for WinRM traffic, because it is contacting the wrong port.

To avoid this issue, upgrade all computers by installing Windows 7 or Windows Server® 2008 R2 or by installing WinRM 2.0.

End-user productivity

Hardware support

Microsoft has removed the Bluetooth® audio class driver from Windows 7. When installing a Bluetooth audio device for the first time, you will need to install a non-Microsoft driver (your version of Windows 7 may already include the non-Microsoft audio driver). If your version of Windows 7 does not include the correct drivers, you can download them from Windows Update, your computer manufacturer’s Web site, or (for a driver that’s specifically written for the Bluetooth device) directly from your Bluetooth radio manufacturer’s Web site. 

Internet access to home media

Some networks or network equipment block Internet access to home media (for example, corporate network policy often prevents this type of connectivity). However, you can manually configure your home router to increase the likelihood that Internet access to home media will succeed.

Although Windows attempts to automatically enable settings on your home router when Internet access to home media is set up, some home routers do not support this capability or they have disabled it. For best results, use a home router that has been certified to work with Windows.

To manually enable the necessary settings on your home router, first try the following:

  1. From a Web browser, go to the configuration Web page of your home router (for example, http://192.168.0.1).

  2. Locate and enable the UPnP™ feature. Save your settings.

    noteNote
    Home routers differ, but this feature is usually found in the Advanced settings. For more information about enabling the UPnP setting, consult your home router manual.

  3. Open Windows Media® Player on your home computer that is running Windows 7.

    noteNote
    If Windows Media Player is already open, close and then reopen it.

  4. On the Stream menu, select Allow Internet access to home media…

  5. On the Internet Home Media Access dialog box, select Do not allow Internet access to home media.

  6. On the Stream menu, select Allow Internet access to home media…

  7. On the Internet Home Media Access dialog box, select Allow Internet access to home media.

If the preceding procedure does not work because your home router does not support UPnP, you can manually configure advanced port-forwarding options on your home router.

To determine which TCP ports on your home router to forward to your home computer that is running Windows 7, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows Media Player, on the Stream menu, select Allow Internet access to home media…

  2. On the Internet Home Media Access dialog box, select Diagnose connections.

    noteNote
    If this option is not available, select Allow Internet access to home media to enable the feature, and then repeat steps 1 and 2.

  3. Click the Port forwarding information link (located at the bottom of the window) to identify the TCP ports.

  4. From a Web browser, go to the configuration Web page of your home router (for example, http://192.168.0.1).

  5. Locate the port forwarding feature and specify the TCP ports that were identified in step 3. Save your settings.

    noteNote
    Home routers differ, but this feature is usually found in the Advanced settings. For more information about enabling port-forwarding, consult your home router manual.

Supporting tools and technologies

Although the following tools and technologies do not ship as part of the Windows 7 product, they support Windows 7 deployment and manageability.

Virtualization

  • Windows XP Mode provides a virtual Windows XP environment in which you can run many Windows XP productivity applications on a Windows 7–based computer. Windows XP Mode is included in Windows 7 and is available as a pre-installed feature by your computer manufacturer or as a free download. For more information about Windows XP Mode, see Windows Virtual PC (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=150447) on the Microsoft Web site.

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  • Windows Virtual PC provides the virtualization technology for Windows 7. Windows Virtual PC allows multiple client operating systems to run at the same time on a Windows 7 desktop, and it offers the runtime engine for Windows XP Mode, which provides a virtual Windows XP environment on Windows 7. For more information about Windows Virtual PC, see Windows Virtual PC (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=150447) on the Microsoft Web site and the Windows Virtual PC Evaluation Guide.

  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), built on Windows Virtual PC, is designed to provide IT professionals with the capability to centrally manage and deploy virtual Windows environments to reduce complexity, maintain control, and keep costs low. MED-V is available through Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). For more information about MDOP, see Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=150448) on Microsoft TechNet.

Application compatibility

Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.5 enables software developers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and IT professionals to determine the following:

  • Whether their devices and applications are compatible with a new version of the Windows operating system.

  • How an update to a new version of the Windows operating system will impact their applications.

The toolkit can also be used by developers as follows:

  • To test Web applications and Web sites for compatibility with new releases and security updates to Internet Explorer®

  • To determine potential compatibility issues due to the User Account Control (UAC) feature

  • To create compatibility fixes for application compatibility issues

  • To determine potential application installation and setup issues

ACT 5.5 includes the following functionality:

  • Inventories applications, hardware, and devices on user’s computers that run earlier versions of the operating system.

  • Analyzes compatibility traits of applications and devices, and synchronizes compatibility data with ISV, logo, and community assessment.

  • Provides test tools for Internet Explorer 8 compatibility testing.

  • Provides tools to build compatibility fixes (called “shims”) for incompatible applications.

For more information, see Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) Version 5.5 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=146754) on Microsoft TechNet.

Categories: Windows 7