James O’Neill on Windows 7

Last week, James O’Neill visited the VBUG group in Bracknell and gave a presentation on Windows 7. Here are some of the interesting points that were covered.

James began by speaking about the changes Windows 7 team. The key members of the Vista team were Brian Valentine and Jim Allchin who have now been replaced by Stefan Janoski in Windows 7. Stefan previously worked in Office team and there is now a visible change in the philosophy of the group.

Next, James spoke about the different editions of Windows. Compared to Vista, these have now been simplified and there are now only 3 versions – Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

In terms of using Windows 7, some of the shortcut keys that can improve productivity include:

[WinKey] & [X] – opens mobility centre
[WinKey] & [P] – opens projector settings
[WinKey] & [g] – brings gadgets to foreground
[WinKey] & [+] – opens magnifier

‘BitLocker To Go’ was a security feature that was demonstrated . This feature enables you to encrypt the contents of a USB flash device by specifying a password. It can then be unencrypted on a different computer by entering your password. If you attempt to decrypt the data on a Windows XP machine, a ‘BitLocker to Go’ component can be ‘autorun’ and installed from the USB device. System administrators can use group policy to mandate that all computers on a domain use ‘BitLocker To Go’ in order to enhance security.

‘Direct Access’ is a feature that allows users to connect to a corporate network in a seamless manner without having to manually initiate a VPN connection. For this to work, DirectAccess Server must be installed and further details are here.

http://www.microsoft.com/servers/directaccess.mspx

When installing Windows 7 on new computers outside of the corporate network, a new feature called ‘Offline Domain Join’ allows you to do this. 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd392267%28WS.10%29.aspx

‘BranchCache’ is a feature that uses P2P technology to cache files more locally to the user and to speed up file access.

Finally, a demo was given on ‘Federated Search’ which enables you to search remote websites and is based upon OpenSearch and RSS formats.

The presentation gave a very interesting overview of Windows 7 and thanks to James for taking the time to speak to us.

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About dotnettim

Tim Leung is a Microsoft .Net / SQL Server developer based in England.
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