The latecomer's guide to deploying Windows 7

As businesses finally get serious about migrating from Windows XP, an expert shares what works in the real world

By Rhonda Layfield, InfoWorld |  Software, Windows 7

To do so, create a deployment package by double-clicking the Collect option. In the Details pane that appears, give the collection a name and select the type of compatibility you want to evaluate: OS or Windows Update. Click the Advanced button if you want to select UAC and Windows Compatibility. UAC detects applications trying to run as a standard user (not as an admin), whereas Windows Compatibility detects issues related to Session 0, Gina, and components that have been deprecated but are still used in applications. Specify when you want the ACT client agent to begin monitoring the client, how long it should monitor, how often the data should be uploaded to the SQL database, and where to output collected data.

The Microsoft Application Compatibility Manager

To actually deploy the collection package, you can use group policy objects, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 (MDT) or System Center Configuration Manager (2007 or 2012), or you can simply email the package to your users -- it's a small .msi file. On the client PCs, users should double-click the .msi file to run it.

The ACT database will list all applications found. It's up to you to do the testing to ensure they work appropriately in Windows 7 (as compatibility is about more than binary compatibility), and the ACT database has various fields for you to use to track your progress. Normally, evaluating applications takes a few months, so be sure to set aside enough time to do a thorough job.

3. Determine what type of OS images to deployA tough question for many organizations is whether they should deploy just the operating system (a thin image) and install the applications afterward, deploy the OS and all apps (a thick image), or deploy the OS and just the core apps required by all users (a hybrid image), with other apps installed separately later based on user needs and roles.

My preference is for the hybrid image; it is the fastest way to deploy the core capabilities to everyone and has the least labor impact on both IT and users. A thick image might be tempting, but if any application in the mix is updated, you have to remake the image each time, creating a management burden. A thin image may seem tempting as well, but it nearly doubles the IT deployment workload (two runs for every user) and creates a productivity gap where the user has Windows 7 but no applications to use with it.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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