Windows 7 Enterprise SKU

As we all know, there are going to be a number of different version of Windows 7 and, as with Vista, I’m particularly interested to see what extra features/benefits customers will receive if they get the Enterprise SKU. Luckily, Gavriella Schuster over at Windows Team Blog has a post about just that 🙂

As with Vista, the Enterprise SKU is only available to customers who have current Software Assurance (SA) on their desktop OS licences and/or buy new licence with SA. The list of Enterprise Specific features includes:

DirectAccess:This is one feature that I’m really excited by. Being able to get rid of or at least reduce the dependency on, VPN’s would be a huge boost for the vast majority of corporate customers I speak to; and I think this could well be the big driving force that pushed people towards this top end licence.

BranchCache: Helps reduce branch office connectivity problems and network speeds by caching information on local servers.

Enterprise Search Scopes: allows IT administrators to populate links to the commonly used internal sites — for example, SharePoint sites – to the Windows Explorer UI or to the Start menu or in Windows 7, using Group Policy.

BitLocker & BitLocker to Go: protect data on PCs and removable drives, with manageability to enforce encryption and backup of recovery keys. BitLocker to Go extends this to removal USB drives.

AppLocker: is a flexible, easy-to-use mechanism that enables IT professionals to specify exactly what is allowed to run on user desktops. It restricts unauthorized software while allowing applications, installation programs, and scripts that users need. This is also an excellent new feature, controlling what users do on their desktops can be the hardest part of Corporate IT and this goes a long way to making Admin’s lives much easier 🙂

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Optimizations: Windows 7 provides for better user experience in VDI scenarios, with better graphics, audio and local device support.

Multi Lingual User Support: the Language Packs in Windows 7 Enterprise enable you to support up to 36 different languages using a single Windows master image, rather than creating a separate image for each language used in the organization. This will makes things much easier for customers that have centralised IT across Europe and/or companies that have various nationalities in one office (like our HQ).

Also, the allowance to run 4 virtual instances of the desktop OS is still included along with the Sub-System for Unix Apps and it includes the rights to network boot Windows.

I don’t think the uptake of Vista Enterprise has taken the world by storm and I imagine it is lower that MS hoped but I think that will all change with Windows 7. The main reason our clients consider Vista Enterprise is for the virtual licences and that’s it but Windows 7 Enterprise offers a number of good reasons to pay the extra cost.

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