Monthly Archives: November 2011

Path to Windows 7 – Part III. Application Compatibility

One of the main reasons why companies are delaying their migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 is the lack of compatibility with business critical applications, and sometime it can be a show stopper. There are a few tools and application delivery mechanism that can solve those issues. Now that we have a complete inventory and rationalized our applications with MAP and Centrix WorkSpace iQ, we are left with a list of application that will be delivered to the Windows 7 users. The next step is to assess the compatibility of those applications on Windows 7 and on the platform that will deliver the application. There are a few different options here. The first decision to make is “32 or 64 bit” version of Windows 7, this decision will imply changes on the application compatibility results. The recommended platform is 64 bit, and it is recommended to companies without a complex…

Share your connection through a virtual wireless Access Point with Windows 7

Windows 7 offers a very cool feature where you can connect multiple devices to any wired and wireless network connection (hotel, cable, 3G, UMTS, EDGE, WIFI, RJ45, Ethernet, etc.) by turning your own laptop into a wireless AP (Access Point) to relay those devices not directly connected to the internet. For this just enter these two commands to an elevated (right click on CMD.EXE, run as administrator): netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=YOURFRIENDLYSSID key=SOMEPASSWORD netsh wlan start hostednetwork At this point, if Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is setup, anyone can connect to your SoftAP (if they know the PWD of course) and the traffic will be sent through whatever adapter you want. You can actually bridge it across an entirely different adapter… or the same on a different Wifi LAN. A GUI to set this up can be downloaded for free here:

Path to Windows 7 – Part II. Application and Hardware Discovery

The first step to get ready to migrate to Windows 7 is to understand your environment very well. You will probably want to start identifying your applications and hardware. It is also a good time to consider improving some of your internal procedures such as OS deployment and application distribution, as well as improvements on user experience. You should start with a hardware and software inventory. I recommend using MAP, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. MAP is an agentless application that will take an inventory of machines on your network and tell you what hardware they have. It will also tell you what software is installed on the machines. It will go even further and tell you if the machines are ready to run Windows 7 and Office 2010, based on a few pre-defined factors. Make sure you take out DVD Drive as a requirement (this is a default…

Advanced Group Policy Management – AGPM

There are a lot of reasons why companies should buy their licences with Software Assurance. One of the main advantages is the right to use the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, which includes AGPM – Advanced Group Policy Management. AGPM is a tool that will increase the control you will have over your group policies. This toll will help you avoid issues like the one descibed at “Group Policy Management – Steve and Nick’s Tale”.   The key components in Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management are: Change Control AGMP provides a secure archive for controlling changes to GPOs. In order to change a GPO, an administrator has to “check out” the GPO from the voult. When the changes are complete, the GPO gets “checked in” to the vault. Differences between archived versions and live versions are reviewed on the reports tab. When a GPO is ready for deployment it can be transferred to…

Group Policy Management – Steve and Nick’s Tale

One of the main reasons why Windows is very well established as The Enterprise Operating System is the ease of centralized administration. Most of the credit goes to Group Policies. Group Policies are a set of rules that will be enforced on the workstations and on user profiles. Based on the rules, user experience will change. That means that a CEO will get a more flexible and open system than a call center user, which will get an OS restricted to the tools he needs to be able to perform his tasks. Group Policy is extremely powerful, and as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spiderman) – ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. The reason I am bringing that up is that is that IT departments overlook the importance of controlling access to Group Policy management. Group Policies are live, as soon as you edit a setting it is already…

TechDays Online UK 2011 – Windows 7 and Internet Explorer

  TechDays Online UK 2011 was a very interesting event. I had the pleasure to present 2 sessions, the first about Windows 7 as the best desktop experience and Why Internet Explorer is awesome for the Enterprise. All the recordings for TechDays are available at the TechNet UK Team Blog. I managed to re-encode my sessions so they can be uploaded to youtube. Enjoy and leave your feedback.   Find the link for the presentations on slideshare on this other post:

Fixing IPv6 issues caused by applications

A good friend of mine from Colombia is a great IT Enthusiast. Like me, he loves trying out all all different kinds of technologies and sometimes things go wrong. In this case he was using the Checkpoint SecureClient and it damaged the IPv6 configuration of his machine. Instead of fixing it and leaving the problem behind he did the right thing, created a tool that integrates with the windows troubleshooting engine to fix the problem and shared it on codeplex. His name is Ricardo Polo and he deserves al the credit! Download the IPv6 reset tool on codeplex.

Path to Windows 7 – Part I. History and timeline

Windows 7 is now over 2 years old. October 22nd 2009 was the official release date for the OS that had the fastest adoption in history. A lot of lessons where learned over the last two years and I will go through a few of them on this blog. Windows XP is now over 10 years old. When it was launched DSL connections was barely available and Wi-Fi wasn’t even on the roadmap. The first Wi-Fi client for XP was introduced on SP1 and a decent client was delivered on SP2. It is also worth mentioning SP1a, when Microsoft removed Windows VM, the engine to run Java applications. Windows XP has great back then, but lacks great features introduced by Windows Vista and Windows 7. User experience is not great on XP, which used to stand for eXPerience, but now stands for eXPired. Windows XP extended support expires on April…