Moving to Windows 7 enables organizations to realize great user productivity and IT benefits. In this article, I wanted to share information about the security benefits, and specifically, seven practices and easy to configure policies that can make your desktop environment safer and more controlled.
1. Control your desktop network access. Windows 7 enhances the firewall and provides granular control over inbound and outbound connections based on where the user is: domain (work), private (home), and public, including determining notification levels for the user. A little-known fact is that, with Windows7, there is a new capability that enables having more than one profile active. Because users typically connect to both local network (work or home) as well as the Internet (public), different rules should apply. Simply type “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” on your Start menu to see the options. All firewalls events can be viewed in the monitoring tab and aggregated through Windows Event Log. Learn more More »
The Windows 7 driver store includes a small collection of drivers for legacy devices, mostly older printers, modems, scanners, infrared ports, PCMCIA controllers, and other oddball devices that don’t use Plug and Play connections. As you might suspect, Windows will not automatically set up such devices, and you’re rolling the dice if you find one of these old but still worthwhile devices and try to install an old driver.
But what if the device in question is valuable to you and can’t be easily replaced by a newer, supported one? Then by all means give it a try. Download the most recent hardware drivers you can find (ideally, for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003), and then use the Add Hardware wizard to complete the hardware setup process. Follow these steps:
1. If you’ve found a downloadable driver package or a CD that came with the device, look for a Setup program and run it. This option places the driver files on your hard disk and simplifies later installation steps.
2. Connect the new hardware to your computer. In the case of an internal device such as an add-in card, turn off the computer, add the device, and then restart. More »
The issue with either Windows XP or 32-bit Vista really isn’t the OS itself, but the legacy of the old IBM PC. The BIOS reserves a certain amount of memory for memory-mapped I/O. Still, even Win XP could “see” well over 3GB of RAM. It and 32-bit Vista do support something known as PAE (physical address extension), which allows applications written for PAE to use more than 2GB of memory.
However, Vista itself likes having more than 2GB of RAM. The reason is SuperFetch, the smart caching technology built into Vista. More »