Windows 7 Exam Development Underway
With Windows 7 almost out, the exams are currently under development and IT professionals can currently download a beta version to check out the new features.
Windows 7 is much more than a rewrite of Windows Vista. While it is true that Windows 7 addresses many of the problems and frustrations that were associated with Vista, the features and functions of the new operating system go far beyond that of its predecessor. Using feedback from industry specialists and end-users, Microsoft has designed a solid platform that will please the novice and expert alike.
The first order of business for Windows 7 was to address the issues that plagued the release of Vista. Ensuring that the new software would run well on machines that were already running Windows Vista corrected the performance and hardware compatibility problems that were associated with the upgrade from Windows XP to Vista. When Microsoft introduced Windows Vista, it operated on a completely different system architecture than that of Windows XP. This difference caused early adopters of the operating system to experience frustration when they found that applications, which ran fine under XP, could no longer run on Vista. Windows 7, built on the same basic operating system architecture that as Windows Vista, avoids many of the application compatibility issues that occurred early on in the Vista lifecycle. By learning from the mistakes made in Vista, Microsoft has produced an operating system in Windows 7 that is more stable, less bulky, and faster than Vista.
In addition to fixing the problems that were associated with Vista, Microsoft added many new features to Windows 7. One of these features is the inclusion of an improved version of BitLocker, a drive encryption application, in the Ultimate and Enterprise version of the operating system. BitLocker allows the computer user to create secure sections of a physical hard drive and to encrypt the contents of that logical partition. The operating system is then capable of interacting with the encrypted data as long as it is able to authenticate the user prior to starting the system. There are multiple methods for performing this authentication, but they are beyond the scope of this article.
Many of the enhancements to the new operating system make administration of a Windows 7 machine in a network environment easier. Both Windows 7 and Server 2008 use the same basic architecture and share a single servicing module. This means that the workstations and the servers share the same security updates to the operating systems, simplifying the job of network administrators to keep network machines up to date. Also of interest to systems administrators is Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM). DISM is a command line tool that allows an administrator to manage machine images to use later for rolling out standard configurations to new machines. The new operating system also has advanced troubleshooting and debugging tools to help technicians and end users alike.
For IT professionals, Microsoft is now offering three different Windows 7 certifications. The certifications exams are:
- MCTS Certification Exam 70-680: Windows 7, Configuration.
- MCITP Certification Exam 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
- MCITP Certification Exam 70-686: Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7
Both of the MCITP certifications require MCTS certification as a prerequisite. Earning certifications in these areas are an excellent way to learn the functions and features of Windows 7 while at the same time growing your career by adding Microsoft certifications to your credentials.
Windows 7 addresses and fixes three of the biggest complaints about Windows Vista: stability, compatibility, and speed. With these fixes also comes a host of enhancements that benefit everyone from the novice computer user up to network administrators. With its ease of use and simplified network administration, Windows 7 is an operating system that is suited to the home user as well as the corporate environment.
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