More admin, helpdesk and virtualization tools will be offered By Tom Henderson, Network World Lab Alliance, Network World , 03/02/2009
NEW YORK -- In a series of briefings held on both coasts last week for product reviewers, Microsoft
detailed the features that will be included in its Windows 7
Enterprise edition when it is released later this year. This high-end bundle will have all the bells and whistles befitting a corporate client operating system including support for scripted PowerShell commands for easier centralized management, help desk-friendly tricks and desktop virtualization options. View a slideshow of things we love and hate about Windows 7.
Specifically focused towards use within large organizations with volume licensing deals in place, the enterprise edition of Windows 7 will be strongly reliant on Microsoft's group policy controls and Active Directory service advancements.
According to the enterprise strategy outlined by Microsoft product managers during the New York event, Windows 7 Enterprise will come with a wide variety of tools that should resonate with network and system administrators. Some will be bundled in the base price while others will come with an added fee.
Microsoft has been criticized
for not yet including enough enterprise features in it widely distributed Windows 7 beta code.
The set of free Windows 7 tools demonstrated at the reviewers briefing don't seem to rely on Microsoft's ever-smoother administration GUI at all -- they're based on Microsoft's command-line scripting system, PowerShell 2.0
, which has been released for a developers' preview and will come bundled with Enterprise edition.
Microsoft's also including more than 500 scripts and 'commandlets' with PowerShell. While PowerShell 1.0 has been in XP and Vista in the past as it's been around since 2006, it has been upgraded so that these commandlets can take advantage of enhanced group policy controls that affect everything from system security to Microsoft Sharepoint accessibility.
The scripts – which can be executed on a Windows 7 client or Windows 2008 server and then propagated as needed to administrative domains -- are designed to help system administrators build and deploy tailored group policies that are easier to both understand and manage than those set up with previous versions Windows clients and servers. Microsoft is banking on better adoption of group policies for everything from security and compliance up through user-driven mobility services.