Notes on comments.
Welcome to our blog dedicated to the engineering of Microsoft Windows 7
As you can imagine, our team is quite busy working through this next phase of Windows 7. We definitely appreciate the millions of downloads and installs of the Windows 7 RC. Things are going as we expect at this point. On a personal note, I wanted to thank all the folks who have been sending me mail. I’ve received a lot of kind words and support regarding the RC and quite a few people saying “hurry up and just release it”. We outlined the steps we’re taking for this next milestone and aren’t going to rush things. We’ve got a lot of work for sure! Not that I’m counting, but I just crossed over 3,000 emails sent via the contact link in this blog. While I haven’t answered all of them, I’ve done the best I can, and appreciate each and every exchange.
Windows 7 includes a set of features for safeguarding your PC when used by children. This post is by Vladimir Rovinsky, a program manager on our Safety Team, who details the features in Windows 7 specifically around Parental Controls. This work is in addition to the safety of the OS itself and of course the features built into Internet Explorer to provide safety and security while browsing. You might also want to check out Windows Live Family Safety which is part of Windows Live Essentials (http://download.live.com) which provides even more for safety and parental controls. --Steven
Today, children are exposed to digital hazards more easily than any time in the past. Especially with the help of powerful search tools, convenient social networking applications, low cost tools and services for publishing videos and photographs, the web is awash with content that’s inappropriate for children, and full of people that parents want to bar from contacting their children.
These digital hazards are accessible to children through a variety of applications, including web browsers, instant messaging applications, media players, games, and email applications. Many of these applications have attempted to offer parental control features. However, they offer this functionality through variety of user interfaces, locations and include varied terminology. The duplication and inconsistency of parental control settings management can make it difficult for parents to maintain the correct settings across multiple applications.
Windows Vista Parental Controls provided a framework to solve these problems by offering:
To get a quick demo of Windows Vista Parental Controls in action, check out this video.
For more information about developing software for Windows Vista Parental Controls, see Using Parental Controls APIs.
Responding to customer feedback and evolving nature of the web and challenges it poses to the parents, we strive to provide families with flexible and effective safety features. Our efforts for the Windows 7 release of Parental Controls were focused on the following objectives:
1. Further developing the extensibility of the Parental Controls platform to enable third-party developers to create richer Parental Control capabilities that integrate well with Windows 7 Parental Controls.
The Windows 7 Parental Controls platform was modified to allow multiple independent providers of Parental Controls functionality to be installed on the system and augment or fully replace the parental controls provided by Windows 7. Windows Vista allowed partial replacement of Windows Parental Controls; the web filter was replaceable. In Windows 7, in addition to the web filter components, the entire Windows 7 Parental Controls user interface can be replaced by third-party providers. The underlying enforcement of the offline restrictions will still be performed by Windows Parental Controls platform. Allowing a third party provider to replace the entire Windows Parental Controls user interface creates a consistent user experience that seamlessly combines existing Parental Controls functionality with the new ones introduced by the third-party provider.
The Windows Control Panel Parental Controls screen still remains the central location and launching point on Windows 7 for Parental Controls functionality regardless of whether it is provided by default (system) or by a third-party provider.
2. Removal of web content restrictions and activity viewing functionality from default (system) Parental controls provider and reliance on Windows Live or third-party providers for these capabilities.
The web is changing much faster than we can update the Windows operating system. For example, when Vista was released Social Networking was barely known. Now it has a thriving web presence. We need to keep web focused parental controls up with innovation. Because of this, we have moved them into Windows Live.
Web filtering and activity viewing capabilities can be more efficiently provided by Windows Live or a third-party solution that implement web based delivery of this functionality. For instance, Microsoft’s Windows Live Family Safety free application provides web content filtering, file downloads restrictions, and activity monitoring. It also provides online contact restrictions for children using Windows Live online applications (Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, etc).
You can learn more about Windows Live Family Safety solution here.
More information about Windows 7 changes to the Parental Controls platform can be found here.
Elements new to Windows 7 Parental controls top-level screen can be seen on the following screen shot:
Figure 1 Windows 7 Parental Controls screen
Additional control providers can still rely on the default’s (system) provider UI for the configuration of in-box offline restrictions. If a provider chooses to do so, the User Controls screen can be presented to configure a user’s Parental Controls settings.
If an additional provider is selected and configured, the following new user interface elements are shown on the Windows 7 User Controls screen:
Figure 2 Windows 7 User Controls screen. Additional controls provider is installed and configured.
If a Windows Vista PC which has parentally managed user accounts with enabled web filtering restrictions is upgraded to Windows 7, parents (administrators) are warned during the upgrade as well as when opening the Windows 7 Parental Controls screen, that web filtering and activity reporting functionality is not part of Windows 7 Parental Controls.
Figure 3 Windows 7 Parental Controls screen. Some users have web filtering restrictions. No additional provider is installed.
Windows Vista Parental Controls settings (including web filtering and activity logs information) are preserved unchanged when upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Although web filtering settings and activity logs information are not used by Windows 7 Parental controls, their preservation allows third-party provider to honor these settings.
As you start using Windows 7, we hope these changes to Parental Controls capabilities will make you feel more confident and in control of how your family members are using computers and experiencing the web.
Thank you for giving a try to the product and taking time to share your experience and thoughts with us. There are several reasons for pulling web filtering and activity reporting from Windows and allowing third-party solutions, like Windows Live Family Safety to provide this functionality; among them: ability to update this functionality without waiting for the next Windows release; response to customers requests to enable configuration of web filtering settings and review of activity reporting from any web connected PC (for instance, parents can review and respond to children’s requests for viewing a specific website from their office computers); ability to aggregate in one place settings and reports for multiple home PCs. We feel that moving web filtering configuration and reporting functionality to the Windows Live Family Safety will benefit majority of our customers by enabling the desirable scenarios described above. Thanks <a href="http://www.oyunoyna.com" target="_blank">oyun</a>
ive installed gta 4 on windows 7 .... and when i try to run it it says the application is blocekd due parental settings .....plz tell me what to do !!!!
Although your kids’ best online protection is you, and by talking to them about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, you’ll help reduce the risk while they surf the Internet. Using some form of keystroke or parental monitoring tool can be seen by some as an invasion of your child’s privacy, but many parents are turning to this style of technology knowing the severity and risk regarding on-line predators.<a href="parentalmonitoring.info/">Parental Monitoring</a>
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Warning- Parental Controls can be disabled !
My son with Autism, just turned 13. He has an HP computer. I set up windows parental controls on it. He has never studied any computer programing. He pressed F11 before windows starts up. He then does a system recovery to get rid of the old adminstation account and all the parental controls. He creates a new admin account using his name. I am unsure how to prevent him from doing this again. Any ideas?
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