Windows 7 Deployment – the Learning Portal
We spend almost $10 billion a year on research and development, and so each time we release a new product, there’s new things it can do. And a lot of the R&D spend is focused on making IT easier. If you’re running a reasonably big IT system (as most education IT systems are), then one of the things that has been a hassle is deploying new versions of software, and managing the complex IT networks that are out there.
When we developed Windows 7, the engineers spent quite a bit of time working out how to make the deployment process easier, and building tools to help that process. That’s good. The downside is that things have changed. If the last time you rolled out a new operating system was when you deployed Windows XP, then you’ll find that it has (a) got much easier and (b) changed the steps you take. All those previous tools – like Ghost and other specific deployment applications – may no longer be the best, quickest, cheapest and easiest way to deploy Windows.
And the Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal takes some of the pain out of getting yourself up to date. Instead of dumping all of the information onto you, it allows you to take a series of mini-tests:
- Preparing for deployment
- Configuring an image
- Compatibility testing
- Deployment Methods
At the end of each test, you get a mark, and links to specific TechNet pages relating to the topic – so that you only need to read the stuff you don’t know, not waste time sifting through the stuff you already know. And the links point you towards things like articles, How-To guides, Step-by-Step procedures etc.
And there’s an incentive too – the first 150 people to pass get a free MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) self-study guide, and the first 500 get a voucher for a free certification exam – so that you can get a new qualification for your CV/annual performance review.