Best of Questions and Answers from TechNet Webcast: Windows 7 Feature Overview (200)

Click to register for and view the recorded webcast.As promised, here are the “Best of Q&A” from the webcast I delivered on June 3, 2009, entitled “TechNet Webcast: Windows 7 Feature Overview (200)

A BIG THANK YOU to Dan Stolts and Matt Hester for assisting in answering questions during the webcast.  This blog post is primarily a result of their efforts.

Thanks for attending!  …and if you haven’t seen the webcast yet, you can click on the link above (or the picture to the left) to get to the registration page.

UPDATE: I’m done posting the screencast recordings I made of the demos for this session.  Check out THIS BLOG POST for the list of and links to the demo screencasts!

Also – Here the RESOURCES I pulled together for this webcast

I hope you find these useful! 


Questions and Answers

“I would like to know what the status is on supported drivers for Windows 7 i.e. what is the new figure above 47,000. Last time I was told “98 of the top 100 devices are now supported, and more than 47,000 drivers have been added since Windows Vista was released. 99% of Windows Vista PC’s have drivers for every single supported device installed.”

There are no available statistics as of yet, however 7 will retain Vista’s driver model, ensuring hardware drivers written for Vista will work with the new operating system when it ships. I know also early on in the process we were required 64-bit device drivers to be signed. This was/is mandatory.

“Will Direct access allow for users on Windows 7 to reset their AD password against the DC”

Yes, the same ways you have done in the past. And yes, even while connected via DirectAccess.

“How does direct access work with a 2 factor authentication?”

Right now the only 2-factor authentication we allow for DirectAccess scenarios is SmartCard.

“Will the DirectAccess Server replace the NAP/NPS server feature of W2K8 SP1?”

DirectAccess is not directly related to NAP/NPS. DA is for connectivity – but using IPv6 across untrusted networks. NAP can be used in DA the same as you would use it on the LAN, for verifying health and granting access based on that health. But the one doesn’t replace the other.

“This technology (DirectAccess ) will be replace NAP?”

No, NAP or Network Access Protection confirms the machine meets all security requirements for corp policy. DirectAccess allows external machines to connect to the corp network.

“Is Windows 7 a new Windows 2010 OS?”

Windows 7 is a new OS from MS and will be available Oct-22-2009:

Yes, Matt.. I’ll even let you promote your blog on my blog. (smile)

“Has the BrancheCache feature been tested against WAN Accelerators that do the same thing from a hardware perspective?”

Nothing I am aware off, but they really are for two different things, the WAN acclerators traditional help compress traffic on the wire, while branchcache’s goal is to avoid having the traffic go on the wire, by storing the file locally. For example your WAN accelerator could help with the initial download of the file, but then branchcache systems in the branch office would handle any other requests for the file locally and not cause traffice on the WAN link.

I know there are WAN accelerators that do provide similar functionality, but the beauty of BranchCache is that A) it’s included with the OS, and B) it is not using any special protocol or special tunneling of traffic to make it work. Those hardware accelerators sometimes get in the way of standard networking. For example, they make it impossible (or at least difficult) to encrypt traffic end-to-end.

“Is only Windows client going to be available this year? When is new server version going to come out?”

Windows 7 will be released in Oct and Windows Server 2008 R2 is expected to be released at about the same time.

(No promises here.. but I’m hoping they release it on the very same day – like they did with the Betas and the Release Candidates.)

“How is bitlocker to go compatible with previous versions of windows or even linux?”

For previous versions of windows they should be able to read the bitlocker unlocak file on the USB drive to be able to unlock the drive, I believe for all other OS’s the drive will not be readable.

It’s actually pretty clever… there is an ordinarily hidden, very small partition on a BitlockerToGo encrypted drive. If I put it into, say, and XP machine (and who runs XP these days? Oh yeah.. almost everyone. L) , you’ll have the ability to run a little application from that partition that will add the ability to enter the password (or recovery key) and then read the drive. Smart stuff.

“If I purchase a new PC now, will I qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7 or do I need to wait until October?”

I don’t think the timing on this has been officially announced, but there will likely be a day (soon) after which a purchase of Windows Vista (and likely only certain versions) will be freely upgradable to Windows 7.

“When is W7 RC2 available?”

There is no RC2. There is just RC. Beta was just beta. Next up: RTM

“What is recommended RAM for Windows 7?”

At the time of the RC, the requirements are:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver

“Is Windows 7 RC deployable through WDS?”

Absolutely. We’re using the same imaging technology. You definitely should look at for links and information about the current state of deployment, and the free tools and guides available. For example – there is a beta of the WAIK and of the Microsoft deployment Toolkit that have additional functionality to support deploying Windows 7. But even without additional updates, WDS will deploy a Windows 7 image as readily as it will a Windows Vista one.

“Will hardware drivers written for Vista work in Windows 7?”

Yes. Or more correctly, “it’s overwhelmingly likely”, since the driver model is the same.

“What is the airspeed velocity of an un-laden Swallow?”

What do you mean? An African or European Swallow?

One thought on “Best of Questions and Answers from TechNet Webcast: Windows 7 Feature Overview (200)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s