There are many aspects that come to mind when migrating to Windows 7 in any environment. How to deploy the new operating system, re-package or virtualize applications, how to deploy those applications, etcetera.
What we’ve seen quite a lot in the past, when people were migrating to Windows XP, is that the migration of the users’ application settings was not considered. This resulted in several unpleasant experiences.
- After migration the helpdesk gets overloaded with issues related to application settings. This also quite often created a bad image of the IT department.
- After migration there is no way back and it restricts users to roam outside the locations that are migrated to the new OS (without a notebook). Because once you have logged onto the new OS, it’s better not to roam and log on to the old OS anymore.
- Because of issue 2, many companies were forced to do a “big bang” migration, where all desktops were upgraded in a very short period of time, which resulted in even more focus on issue 1.
Many customers don’t want to go through this again and are looking for another way to get through this phase. With Immidio Flex Profiles Advanced we introduce a solution which helps you with a smoother transition to Windows 7 on the level of user experience and provide substantial benefit on managing Windows profiles after the migration as well.
Immidio Flex Profiles Advanced is a Windows Profile Management solution which solves a lot of issues and optimizes the overall user experience. This is achieved by decoupling and segmenting personal application settings from the underlying Windows OS and profile, making these settings available cross-Windows platform and creating a consistent user experience no matter what Windows OS the user is working on.
The approach for the Windows XP to Windows 7 migration is pretty straightforward and consists of the following steps.
Implement Immidio Flex Profiles Advanced in your current Windows XP environment.
- Install the FlexEngine (tiny MSI) on each endpoint.
- Configure the FlexEngine through Active Directory Group Policy with help of the provided ADM template.
- Make sure the FlexEngine runs at Logon and Logoff for all users. (e.g. Logon and Logoff scripts).
- Use the Flex Profiles Management Console to create application-specific configuration files for the application settings you want to “decouple” from the Windows Profile.
From this point on, the application settings you configured will be stored outside the Windows profile once a user logs off, on a location you configured (e.g. homedrive). Let users work in this situation for such a period of time that you are sure that all the configured application settings are “decoupled” for all users.
Implement Immidio Flex Profiles Advanced in your new Windows 7 environment.
What you need to do to implement Immidio Flex Profiles Advanced in the new environment is very dependent on the total migration scenario (like AD migration). But what we at least require is that you use the same location where you have stored the “decoupled” user settings. In each migration scenario, you at least need to install the FlexEngine on each Windows 7 device.
You can now deploy Windows 7 and applications using the deployment solution(s) you have in place at the pace you want to without migrating the “traditional” Windows profile. Once a user logs on to a Windows 7 desktop the FlexEngine will load all the personal application settings that were created by the FlexEngine in the Windows XP environment.
In the Windows 7 environment you could even decide to use a mandatory profile for all or specific users to get optimal logon and logoff times. Then you can decide which application settings users can modify and save by using the Flex Profiles Management Console.
First, a smooth transition to Windows 7 while maintaining personal application settings. Second, take control of Windows profiles on Windows 7 from that point on. And third, you have just created a Windows XP and Windows 7 side-by-side desktop environment. Meaning users can now switch between these two OS’es with a consistent user experience, since the application settings that you decided on can now be roamed cross-platform.
This all results in much less overload on the helpdesk after migration, users can roam outside the locations that have been migrated and no (technical) pressure on a big bang migration!
Category: Immidio Flex Profiles