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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…

IEAK – Internet Explorer Administration Kit

Internet Explorer Administration Kit, IEAK, provides administrators with powerful, easy-to-use options designed to save you time and money in deploying and managing Web solutions. IEAK allows you to: Establish version control across your organization. Centrally distribute and manage browser installations. Configure automatic connection profiles for users’ machines. Customize virtually any aspect of Internet Explorer, including features, security, communications settings, and other important elements. IEAK 9, and all you need to know about it can be found here

Microsoft Assessment and Planning – MAP Toolkit v6.5

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop and server migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments, including ROI analysis for server consolidation with Hyper-V. MAP helps make the following IT planning projects faster and easier: Migration to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft Office 2010 Migration to Windows 7 compatible versions of Internet Explorer Migration to cloud-based services Server virtualization with Hyper-V SQL Server consolidation and migration to SQL Server 2008 R2 Assessment of current software usage and client access history for…

Interview from Microsoft Feed

Microsoft Feed, a website by Ali Raza Shaikh, MVP from Paskitan published an Interview with me conducted a few weeks ago. Learn more about me on:  

TechDays Online UK Presentations

Last Thursday, October 27th I had the pleasure to present 2 sessions at the Microsoft Techdays Online. On the first session I covered the enterprise features of Windows 7 and why it is a good time to migrate away from Windows XP.   Windows 7 The Best Desktop Experience View more presentations from David Nudelman On my session I talked about Why Internet Explorer 9 is awesome for the enterprise. Also had the opportunity to demo Cross-site scripting and Group Policies for IE. Why Internet Explorer 9 is awesome for the enterprise View more presentations from David Nudelman