With the advent of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has worked to allow enterprise customers to leverage an alternative to Virtual Private Networks (VPN). The latest versions of the Windows client and server operating systems introduce DirectAccess, a new feature designed to streamline access to corporate shares, websites and applications in remote worker scenarios. Microsoft is now providing a resource set up to enable business customers to cut deployment and support costs, as well as boost mobile users’ connectivity experience with DirectAccess.

“DCA informs mobile users of their connectivity status at all times; provides tools to help them reconnect on their own if problems arise; and creates diagnostics to help mobile users provide IT staff with key information if necessary all to help organizations operate with more efficiency, and at a lower cost,” revealed Tejinder Singh, from the Windows Optimized Desktop team.

Only Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2 offer corporate customers DirectAccess, and as such the two editions of the client are the only ones supported by DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant. The resource is designed to streamline access to troubleshooting information, as well as simplifying the process of putting together and sending log files to support staff. More »

Just as Windows Vista moved away Windows XP by sacrificing compatibility, so will Internet Explorer 8 redefine the way Microsoft’s proprietary browser deals with legacy content. This because, by embracing modern web standards in the default configuration, IE8 will also introduce compatibility issues. However, Microsoft is providing the necessary resources designed to mitigate scenarios involving incompatible content. The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT), now at version 5.0 with the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool (IECTT) and Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluators (IECE) components, is set up to evaluate the level at which an application will play nice with Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and even Internet Explorer 8.

“ACT allows compatibility data to be uploaded from individual machines to a central location for analysis, grouping and reporting. Once an issue has been identified, help will be available on how to resolve a particular issue or create a workaround. Furthermore, partners and customers using ACT are able to post comments to the Online Application Community, where they can share data and information about application compatibility testing,” explained Jatinder Mann, IE Program Manager. More »