Friday, November 20, 2009

Windows 7 First Look

I’ve been extremely busy lately with budgeting, reviews and plans for 2010 so I haven’t had as much time to mess with the fun stuff.  However, Windows 7 and Office 2007 are in the plans for next years project list.   Having been an MCSE since 1995 and having been recertified 3 times as the operating systems change I’ve developed quite a background in Windows.  I’ve lived through rollouts of every flavor of Microsoft desktops operating system (except that nasty Vista) by the hundreds.  From what I’m reading so far Windows 7 does seem to be a significant upgrade from XP and seems to be well worth the effort.  In particular the features that seem most compelling to me are DirectAccess, Problem Steps Recorder, booting from a VHD file, Bitlocker enhancements, integrated Biometric software (thank God…3rd party apps here in XP and Vista have always been painful) and believe it or not….searching in the UI.  Searching for files and data has always been weak in Windows (they really need an updatedb & locate equivalent) but from what I’ve seen with search filters Windows 7 looks pretty good.  Since they have now removed the Classic interface completely I’ll need to spend some time to find out where they’ve hidden everything. (Damn them.)

We will undoubtedly use MDT 2010 for image development and distribution but I haven’t seen a whole lot  of compelling changes in MDT. So far, it looks like they’ve made some work-arounds to the existing pain points but nothing revolutionary.  Multicasting will be a nice addition but heck that’s been around for over 10 years in other software distribution products like Ghost anyhow.

I think I’ve decided to move on and get certified as a MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.  I don’t believe certifications make you a better engineer, but I do believe the process allows you to take some time to really learn the products and features.  This is if you say away from the braindump sites and focus on the learning instead of the testing.  I remember back when  I got my MCSE 3.51 on NT…It took me 6 months.  I read every book I could get my hands on, demo’ed every feature in my lab and worked with the product in my job on a daily basis.  That is my plan here as well.  The things I learned have stuck with me throughout my IT career and have shaped and molded my ability to understand and consume new technology.  I’ll get off my soapbox now…

Stay tuned and I plan to blog about the cool new stuff as I run across it in  my studies…

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