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Editor’s Note: Deploy and Deliver

Deploying Windows 7 is made easier with a handful of tools that streamline both pre-deployment planning and the actual deployment process.

Lafe Low

Despite the simplicity and straightforward approach Windows 7 brings to enterprise OSes, you still have some homework to do before deploying it throughout your organization. You have to determine how many are bare metal installs, how many are migrations from Windows Vista or older OSes, and how you’re going to preserve and migrate your users’ files, settings and application access. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, once you have your marching orders, then you can press the big green deploy button.

Fortunately, Microsoft has a number of tools to smooth the compatibility testing and deploying process, which can greatly accelerate your Windows 7 deployment, whether you’re working on 10 systems or 10,000:

  • The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit helps you determine and resolve any application compatibility issues.
  • The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit helps streamline the process of desktop and server migrations and upgrades by providing agentless asset inventory reporting.
  • The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit gives you a common console to view and manage the tools you’ll need to efficiently deploy Windows 7 (or other Microsoft OSes like Windows Server 2008 R2, and older OSes like Windows Vista and Windows XP).
  • The Windows Automated Installation Kit helps you deploy complete system images to physical or virtual desktops.

So between that shelf full of tools and some of the automation capabilities built into Windows 7, you should be able to plan and execute a custom-tailored deployment scenario that is perfectly crafted for your environment and infrastructure.

Later this month, we will also bring you more on SQL Azure in the public cloud—with a special focus on capacity and security. And there they are—the two biggest prevailing concerns about any cloud initiative: Will you have enough sustained capacity? What about surges in capacity requirements? And security: How do you control access? How secure is your data when stored or in transit?

These are valid questions that anyone will ask of any cloud services provider. It’s not enough to successfully answer them once. To earn and retain your business and your loyalty, your provider will have to continue to answer those questions and change the answer to reflect current realities. More than any other aspect of the technological landscape, the cloud is a moving target.

Dare to Deploy

Once you’ve finished deploying Windows 7 in your company, deploy your opinion to us. Let us know what you think about how we’re doing with our coverage of new Microsoft technologies and the heavyweights like Windows 7, Windows Server, SharePoint, Exchange and Office. We want to ensure that we’re giving you the right level of technical depth, and the right mix of product coverage. We put together TechNet Magazine for you, so let us know how we’re doing, what you like and what we could be doing differently.

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.