In October, the Windows 7 operating system became available to the general public. In this article, we will discuss its features and capabilities and offer readers a conversation with a Microsoft specialist responsible for product management of this operating system in the corporate sector.
Windows 7 for users
Performance, power consumption, safety and other key features
Even 15-20 years ago, computers were rare in most companies. It was allowed to spend quite a lot of time on their study and adjustment, especially for those employees who were interested in such innovations. Today, the computer is a tool of work, used everywhere, and not a novelty, interesting in itself. The requirements for the PC of modern users can be summed up in one phrase: the computer should not interfere with their work. This means that it must immediately respond to requests, quickly load and switch from one mode to another, instantly perform the necessary operations and necessary applications, be reliable and secure, and consume as little battery power as possible.
Windows 7 user interface
To meet these requirements, Windows 7 has made significant changes over Windows Vista to improve boot speed, operating system performance, security and stability, and lower power consumption. So, Windows 7 contains new troubleshooting tools, process recovery, network hang diagnostics without user notification.
When it comes to application compatibility, it should be noted that Windows 7 is continuously tested for compatibility with the most widely used consumer and enterprise applications, and through partner support programs, software developers are provided with all the resources necessary to ensure application compatibility. For applications developed for the internal needs of companies, Windows 7 includes a number of built-in compatibility tools.
Windows 7 Security Management Tools
Windows 7 includes all of the fundamental security features of Windows Vista, such as Kernel Tamper Protection, Service Hardening, Data Execution Prevention, inadvertent address space restructuring, and mandatory integrity levels that continue to provide strong protection against malware and attacks. However, significant improvements have been made to key security technologies such as event handling, User Account Control, security-enhanced storage devices, and authentication.
Home and Internet Connection Management Tools
Note that the new operating system contains simpler tools for organizing a home network compared to its predecessors, as well as tools for processing personal media data (photo, video, sound).
Note that major changes have been made to the power management to extend the battery life of the laptop. So, in Windows 7, the number of background tasks has been reduced, a function has been added to automatically dim the display and turn off the power of the computer’s network adapter when the network is not used, as well as tools for remotely changing the computer’s operating mode.
Search for information
In Windows 7, the data search interface has been significantly improved. Thus, the search results are accompanied by brief information about the files found and excerpts from their contents with the highlighting of the words of the search query.
There is a new way to organize search results – by the best results (the files that most closely match the search query are displayed at the top of the list). When creating queries, you can use additional filters, previously executed queries and their results.
BitLocker Drive Encryption
In addition, federated search is available, allowing you to query remote search servers for data that has not been indexed by Windows Search and retrieve results in Windows Explorer and searches on other computers and devices. Windows 7 cross-source search aggregation is based on the OpenSearch standard, which adds RSS or ATOM search results to a variety of server applications.
BitLocker Drive Encryption
Windows 7 not only uses BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect against the constant threat of data leakage, and to provide manageability and updates to your deployment, but also a new BitLocker To Go feature designed to protect data on portable drives so that only authorized users can read them. With Windows 7 support for FAT volumes in BitLocker, a wider range of devices and storage devices are supported, including USB flash drives and portable hard drives. In addition, BitLocker To Go provides access to protected files for Windows Vista and Windows XP users using the BitLocker To Go Reader. It is written to each BitLocker To Go-protected volume and automatically starts when the device is connected.
Restricting AppLocker Application Execution
Windows 7 introduces AppLocker which provides not only protection, but also compliance with the rules and policies for the use of programs in the organization by supporting the prohibition of the launch of unlicensed software, malware, applications that negatively affect the corporate IT environment on the computer.
AppLocker rules can be associated with a specific user or with a group of users in an organization. This provides the control you need to support regulatory requirements by specifying which users can run specific applications.
User Account Control
User Account Control first appeared in Windows Vista. It is a set of technologies that enables legacy applications to run with standard user rights, and also helps software vendors tailor their programs to run with standard user rights.
With the introduction of UAC, the Windows platform has been significantly redesigned so that commonly used actions such as changing the time zone can be performed as a standard user, with file and registry virtualization, application compatibility packs, and elevation prompts. … However, if an application needs to perform an action that requires administrator rights, such as installing a printer driver, opening ports in a firewall, or installing applications in the Program Files folder, Windows will ask the user to confirm the rights extension. And quite often such requests, to be honest, quickly annoyed users.
4 levels of User Account Control
In Windows 7, the number of such requests is reduced, but any remaining requests become more meaningful to users. The new dashboard now allows the user to select one of four levels of User Account Control, with easier access to UAC settings and more intuitive controls.
By default, UAC prompts for user confirmation when programs try to change settings, so UAC prompts appear less frequently than before during normal PC operations. In addition, the operations that users frequently perform in Windows have been changed so that they no longer require administrator rights.
Windows XP compatibility mode
Windows XP Compatibility Mode (XP Mode) is available in Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise editions. Programs that are incompatible with Windows 7 run in a separate Windows XP virtual machine, which simulates a standard x86-compatible computer with all major hardware components except the processor.
Windows 7’s ability to run Windows XP applications is integrated at several levels of the user interface. You can pin Windows XP applications to the Windows 7 Start menu and launch from it just like any other application. It also supports pinning and launching Windows XP applications to and from the Windows 7 taskbar in the lower right corner of the screen. Note that this mode is easy to install and use, provides full integration of applications into the Windows environment and transparent access from the virtual machine to the folders of the host system, such as “My Documents”, “Pictures”, “Desktop”, “Music” and “Video”, clipboard sharing, access to USB devices.