Join the Crowd: Useful Tools for Moving to Windows 7


Web data aggregator Statscounter now places Windows 7 on about 37 percent of users' desktops, and it is rapidly closing in on the venerable Win XP as the most commonly installed OS on the planet.


However, throw in the poor souls who made the move to Windows Vista, and a sizable majority of users still have not made the jump to Windows 7, even as the press cycle begins to warm up for the Windows 8 release.


If your business has not yet migrated to Windows 7, or is still getting its feet wet with the OS, you might want to check out these resources, all of which are available free to IT Business Edge members here in the IT Downloads library.


The Windows 7 Features Checklist, from our partners at, lays out about 50 of the most notable Windows 7 features for evaluation in a large-scale rollout. Bitlocker, Action Center, BranchCache and other feature sets are logged in a spreadsheet format that tracks prototype testing, acceptance and references to exact configuration info, as you can see in the image below.



The sheet also asks you to list the architectural principle, including the feature in the OS image you plan to roll out to user client systems.


The Microsoft Windows 7 Reference Guide, from CustomGuide, is a handy, highly visual cheat-sheet, as you can see below.



In addition to basic UI tricks and keyboard shortcuts, the two-page PDF also includes advice on regular maintenance chores, like running hard drive defragmentation, and setting up Homegroup for easy network config.


The Windows 7 Pocket Guide Excerpt, from Windows Guides, offers tips that will probably be more useful to a systems admin at an SMB than a typical business end user. The 178-page PDF covers a wide range of topics, from installing Windows 7 as a virtual machine to using the freeware program TrueCrypt to encrypt data on a USB drive. If you are looking to extend Windows 7's built-in functionality, this is a most useful resource.

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