Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Windows 7 Makes Tech Support Easier

I haven't had a lot of experience with Windows 7 until recently. I work at a local school district and we recently replaced a fairly large selection of computers, and at this point you can no longer purchase licenses for Windows XP - every new computer comes with Windows 7.

This forces the tech department's hand when it comes to upgrading, or in our case running in a mixed environment with the majority of systems running XP and all the new machines from here on out being Windows 7 (or newer).

Granted, Windows 7 does cause issues when it comes to group policy and other issues that arise on a large, domain network. We also find issues with older printers no longer being supported under Windows 7 by either Microsoft of the printer manufacturer. So Windows 7 is not all rosy and great, but there is one big advantage as a Technician that makes my job much easier.

On our network (like most large organizations) individual user accounts have restrictions when it comes to administrating a system and installing software. Under the Windows XP environment, updating or installing software would require logging off of the restricted user and me logging in with my account with administrative rights to perform the needed actions. With some of the older systems and local user policies, it could take quite a while to log in and finish the job. In theory, Windows XP would allow you to enter your credentials to install or run certain programs while logged in as a restricted user, but I never had any success trying to change anything this way.

Now, with the Windows 7 systems I can perform administrative tasks by entering my credentials and being able to function with elevated rights. This is a big improvement, makes my job easier and produces less disruption for the computer user.  All in all I have been pretty impressed with Windows 7 during my exposure with the new systems at work - a definite and huge improvement over past Windows versions for sure.

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