Windows 7 is the latest operating system developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers. Windows 7 was released in Oct 2009.
There are 5 editions for Windows 7, namely Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate* and Enterprise*. The edition we are using in CityU is the Enterprise edition. For a detailed description on Windows 7 and the different features offered in the different editions, users are encouraged to visit the main web page of Windows 7 from Microsoft:
There are many new features in Windows 7. To list a few:
Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day.
Microsoft has made many performance improvements in Windows 7:
PCs that are low on memory can decrease performance and leave you frustrated. Windows 7 reduces memory and processor utilization by running fewer background services, reducing the operating system's memory needs when idle, and reducing graphics memory requirements to launch and switch between windows.
In Windows 7, search results pop up faster. Sorting and grouping of search results is also significantly quicker.
Windows 7 is designed to run speed-sapping background services only when you need them. Not using a Bluetooth device? Then the Bluetooth service in Windows 7 stays off.
Microsoft has made some improvements in Windows 7 to offer better protection:
Microsoft developed Windows 7 according to the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL). It built the new OS from the ground up to be a secure computing environment and retained the key security features such as Kernel Patch Protection, Data Execution Prevention (DEP), Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), and Mandatory Integrity Levels. These features provide a strong foundation to guard against malicious software and other attacks.
Windows 7 includes numerous enhancements to improve the Standard User experience, and new configuration settings provide more control over the User Account Control prompt when run in Administrator Approval Mode. Under User Accounts in the Control Panel of Windows 7, you can select Change User Account Control Settings to adjust the feature with a slider. The configuration slider lets you choose from among four levels of UAC protection, ranging from Always Notify to Never Notify.
Windows 7 has better driver support and more reliable fingerprint reading across different hardware platforms. Configuring and using a fingerprint reader with Windows 7 for logging in to the operating system, as well as for authenticating users for other applications and Web sites, is easy.
BitLocker to Go extends BitLocker data protection to USB storage devices and other removable media, enabling them to be restricted with a passphrase. It also gives administrators the ability to control how removable media can be used, as well as to enforce policies for protecting data on removable drives.
In Windows 7, Microsoft has given options for the users to select their 'comfort level' in UAC notifications and also improved the user interface by providing more relevant and additional information. The default user account created during the installation in Windows 7 is still a protected administrator but with a different UAC setting from Always Notify to Never Notify:
The other significant change is that Microsoft reduced the amount of actions that will prompt you, several components no longer require Administrator privileges. For example, users can configure whether their desktops should be displayed in High DPI mode, a commonly used feature as computer screens get larger and pixel sizes get smaller. Another example is that Standard Users can now reset their network connection when physically logged into the computer.
BitLocker To Go is a hard drive encryption scheme designed to protect sensitive data stored on USB drives and removable media. It allows you to encrypt a USB drive and restrict access with a password. When you connect the USB drive to a Windows 7 computer, you are prompted for the password and upon entering it you can read and write to the drive as you normally would. Without the password, the USB drive is worthless. For this reason, users are recommended to keep the password in safe place.
During the encryption process, Windows 7 installs a special reader on the USB drive. When you connect the USB drive to a computer running Vista, the BitLocker To Go Reader takes control, prompts for the password, and then basically makes the USB drive a read-only device.
In a Domain system, IT administrators can configure a policy that requires users to apply BitLocker protection to removable drives before being able to write to them. Furthermore, the policy can specify password length as well as complexity.
Sure, you can change your user interface by installing language packs for Windows 7 on your Windows 7 Enterprise.