Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get management buy-in with the Windows 7 Upgrade Project Kit

Here’s a scenario that is surely being played out in many IT departments right now:

Back in the early 2000s you successively managed the upgrade of the client side of your IT infrastructure to Windows XP. Sure there were a few bumps in the road, but once you got through those, your company enjoyed increased efficiency due to the new features and vast improvements built in to the Windows XP operating system

Now, Windows 7 is on the scene, and Service Pack 1 is right around the corner. Over the past five months you’ve spent a lot of time investigating and testing Windows 7 in your test bed, and you’re confident that the new operating system is ready to take your IT infrastructure to the next level. However, you’re not sure how open upper management will be to the idea.

Recently, I discovered the Windows 7 Upgrade Project Kit from ToolkitCafe and found a complete set of tools for creating a comprehensive Windows 7 upgrade plan that will not only help you get buy-in from upper management but will also help you to orchestrate a very well-planned-out and successful Windows 7 upgrade. Read more.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keep tabs on ReadyBoost with Windows 7's Performance Monitor

In my last blog post, “Take a Closer Look at ReadyBoost Features in Windows 7,” I showed you how to set up ReadyBoost and explained how it works. Once you understand how ReadyBoost works and have it configured on your system, you’re obviously going to be looking for the promised performance gain. Unfortunately, ReadyBoost isn’t like adding rocket fuel to your system, and it’s not going to dramatically speed up every task that you regularly perform.

There are some tasks where the performance gain will be evident, and there are others where it will not. In other words, it is very difficult to be plugging away at some task on your system and just feel it kick in and say to yourself “Wow, there goes ReadyBoost! What a rush!”

To see ReadyBoost in action, you’re going to have to keep tabs on it with Windows 7’s Performance Monitor. Read more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Take a closer look at ReadyBoost features in Windows 7

The other day a friend and I were talking about the merits of Windows 7, and I was trying to convince him that it was time to let go of Windows XP and move up to the latest version. During our discussion he brought up Windows Vista and ReadyBoost and then asked me if ReadyBoost was even available in Windows 7. When I told him that it was indeed still a part of the Windows 7 operating system, he questioned whether it was really necessary anymore, considering the fact that 2GB-4GB of RAM was pretty common in new PCs these days.

That got me wondering. During the Vista buildup, ReadyBoost was a pretty common topic of discussion. Back then, memory was still pretty expensive and ReadyBoost was being touted as an inexpensive way to make the new and memory-intensive operating system a little snappier. During the Windows 7 buildup, I really don’t remember hearing much about ReadyBoost at all. Do you?

Even so, ReadyBoost is a still a part of the Windows 7 operating system, and as such, I thought that I would examine it in more detail. Read more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get access to Windows XP Mode via Windows Anytime Upgrade

In last week’s blog, “Get the Most Out of Windows XP Mode with These Tips,” I showed you several very cool tips that you can employ if you are using Windows XP Mode in Windows 7. That article drew some criticism about Windows XP Mode that I thought raised some very valid concerns. I have heard similar concerns from other folks as well. As such, I thought that I should address them in this week’s blog since they have equally valid solutions.

The main gist of these concerns refers to the fact that Windows XP Mode is touted as one of the major features in Windows 7, yet it is available only in the higher-end versions of Windows 7 — Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate. Furthermore, most consumer computer outlets typically carry the lower-end versions of Windows 7 — mainly Home Premium. Therefore, it may be difficult for the average consumer to take advantage of this great feature.

It is also possible that a less-informed consumer could purchase a computer with Windows 7 Home Premium from a consumer outlet thinking that because they are getting Windows 7, they would have access to Windows XP Mode. To further complicate the matter, there is still a lot of concern about the various CPUs out there and the necessary built-in hardware-assisted virtualization technology. Read more.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Get the most out of Windows XP Mode with these tips

While Windows 7 has several built-in compatibility features that are designed to allow you to run most Windows XP applications right from within Windows 7, there are other older Windows XP applications that will not run in Windows 7 even with those built-in compatibility features. For these types of applications, Microsoft designed Windows XP Mode for Windows 7.

Installing and using Windows XP Mode is a very straightforward operation. If you have Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate and the CPU and if your PC has the necessary built-in hardware-based virtualization technology, then all you have to do is download and install Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC.

Once you have Windows XP Mode up and running, you can install your XP applications in the Windows XP VM (Virtual Machine) just like you normally would. You’ll then be able to launch your XP applications right from the Windows 7 Start menu.

While using Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC is pretty straightforward, there are some tips that you can employ to get the most out of this winning combination. Read more.