Those are the high points. One important item I didn't delve into is Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. MDOP is a multi-tentacled toolkit which crosses the boundaries of a bunch of categories above. (It's not strictly part of Windows 7, but rather an add-on that most enterprises will want.) MDOP has virtualization support, policy and inventory management tools, error reporting, and diagnostics and recovery stuff.
Windows 7 screen shot.
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It's also important to note that virtualization isn't just some item in a toolkit, but rather a key focus of the Windows 7/Windows Server ecosystem. Microsoft has worked hard to enable both application virtualization and desktop virtualization. (The first is where your apps aren't local. The second, which is more important, or more global, is where the OS isn't local.)
I've underplayed virtualization because it's such a huge area, if I went into it in this column, quite frankly it would have taken us off on a tangent. Suffice to say that, however important Windows 7 is (and it is!), virtualization will be a far more important trend two years from now that any OS. It's where everything is headed, as the ubiquity of computing power increasingly makes localized executables -- including operating systems -- irrelevant.
OK, now that I've opened up that can of worms, let me walk away from it and close by saying that I continue to be impressed both with the intrinsics of Windows 7 -- the beta runs nicely - and with just how intent Microsoft is on making Windows 7 a success. I believe it'll be the kind of consumer must-have operating system Vista never was, and its enterprise features, as I've described herein, are clearly ready for prime time.
Now please watch my video, where I regurgitate some of these points in well-lit, hopefully entertaining form, mashed up with a couple of Microsoft-produced shorts explaining DirectAccess (the always-connected, beyond the VPN feature) and AppLocker (the policy thing):
For Further Reading:
I explored the consumer side in my last column, Making Book On Windows 7;
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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.