No doubt you have seen the hype today surrounding the worldwide Windows 7 launch and availability to consumers. I’ve enjoyed reading the reviews from the tech pundits and our customers. Beyond the whiz-bang features that will get your students and faculty excited about using their computers for day-to-day tasks like Snap, Shake and Windows Touch…there are three new features I think are most relevant for the IT side of the house that will help make everyone more productive…BranchCache, BitLocker To Go, and Windows XP Mode. I introduced some of these features in an earlier blog post.

Today, I’ll focus on BranchCache because I think this is a huge feature that could have big impact. So imagine this scenario – when you download a video to your laptop from YouTube or a document from the district office -- in a traditional environment in a school, you download the file, I download the file, everyone downloads it. You are making a server request to YouTube or the district’s intranet site, and it may take 20 minutes or 10 seconds to download the video or file depending on what your bandwidth is.

The way Windows 7 works is if we are on the same network inside a school, you download the video, it is cached on your machine…then when the next person goes to download the same file, it opens up instantly because it’s been cached on your machine already. For a BranchCache overview, videos, demos and deployment information, check out this site.

With Windows 7, we have worked hard to improve the operating system’s security, reliability and performance while improving PC management and introducing compelling new experiences for the classroom and making it easier to connect with all the devices people use today. For a complete product overview, go here, check out our monthly education newsletter here, and read my blog post here that includes a customer case study.

Be sure to sign up for our own virtual launch event dedicated to education where you can learn more about the Windows 7 benefits for schools and hear from K12 and university IT professionals that are deploying Windows 7.