Windows 7 has surpassed its predecessor - Windows Vista - in market share for the first time. We look at the five factors that are making Microsoft's new operating system a success.

Microsoft's current versions of its web browser and operating system are proving to be very popular. According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer 8 gained more market share to continue dominating the browser market, while Windows 7 has surpassed its predecessor - Windows Vista - in market share for the first time. So, what exactly is driving the success of Windows 7?

We look at the five factors that are making the new operating system a success.

1. Management

With integrated support for PowerShell 2.0, Windows 7 provides a superior infrastructure for IT admins to be able to automate common tasks and manage the desktops more efficiently.

IT admins can create powerful scripts with PowerShell 2.0. PowerShell uses the Windows Management Interface (WMI), and can call command-line tools - making it a very versatile tool for IT admins.

2. Troubleshooting

For some IT admins, helping users troubleshoot problems takes up a significant amount of time and gets in the way of other tasks that might improve the network for everyone. Troubleshooting problems remotely can be a uniquely difficult task challenging the patience of both the user and the IT technician.

Windows 7 provides Troubleshooting Packs that enable users to conduct their own troubleshooting for many common issues. IT admins can also create custom Troubleshooting Packs for recurring issues or internal applications.

For remote troubleshooting, Windows 7 has the Problem Steps Recorder feature. The Problem Steps Recorder lets users record the screenshots illustrating - click-by-click - the steps they are performing that seem to be causing the problem. The ability to replay the exact problem scenario greatly enhances the ability of remote IT technicians to identify and resolve the issue.

3. Security

Windows XP - which is still by far the most used operating system - is far behind Windows 7 when it comes to security controls. Windows 7 has security controls - like ASLR (address space layout randomisation), DEP (data execution prevention), and UAC (user account control), and PMIE (Protected Mode IE) - that don't exist in Windows XP.

Windows 7 also has AppLocker which lets IT admins set policies restricting which applications or scripts are allowed to run on the PC. Controlling which software can run on the desktop provides better security, as well as simpler system management.
BitLocker and BitLocker to Go enable IT admins to ensure that sensitive data is protected with encryption, and it can be easily managed via Group Policy.

NEXT PAGE: It's not Vista

  1. Why Microsoft's new OS has been so successful
  2. It's not Vista