back to article The Desktop refresh

For those of you who missed our recent live webcast on refreshing the desktop estate, the panic is over. Here it is, recorded it in full colour, for your viewing pleasure. The webcast is, as alway, hosted by Reg front man and all round good egg, Tim Phillips. He’s joined by desktop gurus from Intel and Freeform Dynamics. The …


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  1. Michael C

    proper questions for large companies

    1) Is your corporate AV, AS, sys log, auditing, and other security software all Win 7 native yet?

    2) Is your DR solution win 7 native yet?

    3) is your system image and software deployment system Win 7 native yet?

    4) do all your web apps work in IE8 or another Win 7 native browser and support Java 1.6 or higher and other key plug-ins?

    5) Are you prepared to support Office 2007+ or an equivalent Win 7 productivity package?

    6) can your messaging systems, including your VoIP desktop client if you have one, support Win 7?

    7) are you up to AD on 2008 yet, including having tested all new associated GPO?

    8) you have tested at least 1 system image for all relevent software in your environment, including validating deployment processes, app testing under Win 7, performed a security assessment, and in general proved each custom image needed will operate in all department areas under the new OS.

    9) Win 7, and all other apps required on it, are all approved per your corporate architecture standards, and pass corporate audit reules as well as any imposed by your business sector or government regulatory bodies (DISA for example).

    10) you have not already migrated to Vista (if you have, moving to Win 7 can likely wait a while...)

    11) and likely most importantly, all corporate policies, deployment procedures, DR plans, and desktop procedures have been updated to support Win 7, and you have a training program in place and ready for all end users.

    12) you're prepared to operate in a mixed OS environment during an extended rollout (possibly multiple years).

    13) you've budgeted for roughtly 5-8 times the physical cost of the workstation itself as part of the rollout (to include additional software, rollout labor, training, increased support times, etc).

    14) every application you use supports win 7, or has been upgraded to it or replaced by a different app to do the same thing under 7, including all servers win 7 might connect to in the operation of that application.

    15) due to version upgrades likely required for apps, all back end systems have either been upgraded already, or a migration plan is prepared and a tril run has been completed for any data or systems effected by the transition.

    16) for each application, you have identified the key effected systems, and have identified each other system effected by the upgrade of one, and come up with a complete rollout plan ensuring upgrades to one department or system do not cascade unnecessarily into upgrade requirements (or break applications) for other areas.

    17) if you're a large firm, you've run this plan past Microsoft reps in detail.

    If you answer no to any of the above, get cracking on turning it into a yes. Outside of a lab environment, you should not have a single Win 7 machine on your floor until these, and likely many more business specific, questions come back as a YES.

    We're just now starting to look at moving from XP to Vista (might go to 7 in the ned and skip vista). We have 15,000 workstations. More than 50 of our internal apps have to be reqritten to support non-IE6 browsers (been in process for more than 2 years), over 300 back end support servers need upgrades or replacements to support deploying, monitoring, managing, and supporting non-XP workstations and the applications that will come with them, and we have not even started the grand complete plan yet. We likely won't have non-XP workstations in here except in sporadic departments until end 2010, and not complete a rollout until end 2011.

  2. Robert Smith

    Hat capabilities

    I for one am very excited about hat capabilities.

  3. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Let's talk a little about Windows 7...

    What's that you say? Windows 7? I see it on the horizon! Windows 7! (And your associated server stack refresh!) Come hither! So many lovely programs! So many...wait...what are you....CALs! OH DEAR GOD NO! Unclear and indecipherable licensing as relates to the use of applications in a virtual environment! I just....but...what…[screaming and horror]

    <carrier lost>

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Gissa job!...

    title says it all.....

    (one of 3mil unemployed in the UK)

  5. John Sanders


    I'm amazed by By Michael C's comment, I subscribe it entirely.

    The only people running W7 for a big while would be those in the IT departments brave enough, like those unix developers that one good day appear in the office with a shiny new Mac laptop under their arms.

    In small companies they can not afford to do the extensive retraining that Win7+Office-Shitbon entices, they have to pay to get all the rough edges of their back-office apps running under Win7/Vista filed.

    They have in some cases to pay again for the server OS just because the evil IT guy says so or MS thinks so, so no single company that installed the server in the last 2-3 years is going to rush to buy a new 64 bit server just to give MS the pleasure to sell another Win2k8 license.

    etc, etc, etc...

    I do not have a doubt that Win7 is the next windows, just because the press says so and because machines now are powerful enough to run this Vista-ish version. But this time kicking the previous Win version aeway is going to be hard.

    Not everybody out there is running a mega-corporation where you can afford to install latest Citrix abortion or latest VMware ultra expensive and slow piece of crap, not even to buy new workstations.

    (Note: however somehow they can afford new vaio laptops every now and then)

    My dad which is not IT stupid and indeed liked some Win7 tricks like the sticky windows said to me after a small Win7 demonstration: "Well this is very nice, but I can not do anything new with it that I'm not doing now with XP, which now looks like a familiar old friend to me."

    There you go.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Nonsense

    There is no desktop refresh issue at all, either the business works well under current strategies or the IT team needs replaced, NOT the desktop.

    Funny how some people feign the idea upgrading for it's own sake is good then simply tout hypothetical reasons without actually asking what businesses need.

    What businesses end up doing is switching OS for no other reason than that past a certain point they have to replace kit and the newest version of windows is at some point, what you're left with for volume licensing. The schedule for that includes when you make the last wave of upgrades so you're managing mostly the last OS or mostly the current one, it is time and not upgrade for some other reason that is the factor.

  7. KarlTh

    Nice feature...

    ...printer deployment via GPO to machines or users. Particularly nice that it can be done from printer management without working through the myriad GPO settings to find the right one.

    But where, still, is the native support for mounting an ISO and create ISO images from folders and files? The code for the former must exist because VMs in Virual PC can use an ISO as a CD drive! Should we just be grateful that we can now natively create a CD from an ISO?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ John Sanders

    "Citrix abortion". Quite appropriate.

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