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Miscellaneous Changes in Windows 7

Applies To: Windows 7

The following sections of this document discuss additional new and changed features in Windows 7:

  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service

  • AppLocker

  • Windows PowerShell 2.0

  • Group Policy

  • Windows Update Stand-alone Installer

  • Windows Search, Browse, and Organization

  • .NET Framework Assistant and the Windows Presentation Foundation Plug-in for Firefox

  • Windows Media Audio Voice Encoder and Decoder

Background Intelligent Transfer Service

Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 4.0 leverages the BranchCache infrastructure to provide peer-to-peer file transfer functionality. It does not interoperate with the BITS 3.0 peer caching solution that was included with Windows Vista and Windows Server® 2008.


As a result of this change, any enterprise application or service (such as Windows Server Update Services) that uses BITS 3.0 peer caching must download files directly from the originating server rather than retrieve it from a peer computer. To avoid or correct this issue, use a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer that has BranchCache installed.


AppLocker is the next version of the Software Restriction Policies feature, which provides access control for applications. For more information, see What is AppLocker?.

Improvements to AppLocker include:

  • AppLocker PowerShell cmdlets. These cmdlets are used in conjunction with the AppLocker user interface as building blocks to help author, test, maintain, and troubleshoot AppLocker policy. For more information, see AppLocker PowerShell Cmdlets.

  • Audit only enforcement mode. This setting helps you determine which applications are used in an organization and test rules that you create before you deploy them. When the AppLocker policy for a rule collection is set to Audit only, rules for that rule collection are not enforced. Rules can be imported into AppLocker and tested before they are deployed by using the Audit only enforcement mode. For more information, see “Scenario 2: Using Auditing to Track Which Applications Are Used” in the AppLocker Step-by-Step Guide.

Windows PowerShell 2.0

Windows PowerShell 2.0 is compatible with Windows PowerShell 1.0; however, existing scripts and applications need to be updated to accommodate the following changes:

  • The value of the PowerShellVersion registry entry in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellEngine is changed to 2.0.

  • New cmdlets and variables have been added that might conflict with variables and functions in profiles and scripts.

  • The -ieq operator performs a case insensitive comparison on characters.

  • The Get-Command cmdlet gets functions by default, in addition to cmdlets.

  • Native commands that generate a user interface cannot be piped to the Out-Host cmdlet.

  • The new Begin, Process, End, and Dynamic Param language keywords might conflict with similar words that are used in scripts and functions. Parsing errors may occur if these words are interpreted as language keywords.

  • Cmdlet name resolution has changed. Windows PowerShell 1.0 generated a runtime error when two Windows PowerShell snap-ins exported cmdlets with the same name. In Windows PowerShell 2.0, the last cmdlet that is added to the session runs when you type the command name. To run a command that does not run by default, qualify the cmdlet name with the name of the snap-in or module in which it originated.

  • A function name followed by -? gets the Help topic for the function, if one is included in the function.

  • Parameter resolution for Microsoft .NET Framework methods have changed. In Windows PowerShell 1.0, if you called an overloaded .NET method with more than one best-fit syntax, no error was reported. In Windows PowerShell 2.0, an ambiguity error is reported. In addition, in Windows PowerShell 2.0, the algorithm for choosing the best fit method has been revised significantly to minimize the number of ambiguities.

  • If you use Import-Module to load commands that use unapproved verbs or restricted characters in the command name, you will receive a warning. Use the Get-Verb command to see a list of approved verbs. Do not use any of the following characters in command names:

    [ # , ( ) { } [ ] & - / \ $ ^ ; : " ' < > | ? @ ` * ~ % + =

  • If you are enumerating a collection in the pipeline, and you try to modify the collection, Windows PowerShell 2.0 throws an exception. For example, the following commands would work in Windows PowerShell 1.0, but they would fail after the first pipeline iteration in Windows PowerShell 2.0:

    $h = @{Name="Hello"; Value="Test"}
    $h.keys | foreach-object {$h.remove($_)}

    To avoid this error, create a subexpression for the enumerator by using the $() characters as follows:

    $($h.keys) | foreach-object {$h.remove($_)}

For more information, see What's New in Windows PowerShell in the Windows Client TechCenter.

Group Policy

In Windows 7, Group Policy has been improved in the following ways:

  • New Windows PowerShell cmdlets. This feature applies to Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate. Prior to Windows 7, Group Policy management and automation was accomplished through the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) or with scripts written against the GPMC COM interfaces. Windows 7 introduces a set of 25 new cmdlets, which allow IT administrators to manage and automate Group Policy through Windows PowerShell. With these cmdlets, an IT administrator can backup, restore, report on, and configure (through registry settings) Group Policy objects. This functionality is added when the GPMC is installed.

  • ADMX support for Reg_QWORD & Reg_MultiSZ. Prior to Windows 7, a registry key that was of type QWORD or MultiSZ could not be configured through Group Policy Administrative Templates (ADMX). The ADMX schema has been updated to support the QWORD and MultiSZ registry types.

  • Improvements to the ADMX editor. This feature applies to Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate. Prior to Windows 7, the ADMX editor was displayed as a non-resizable, tabbed dialog box. UI text was often clipped, and Help content was difficult to find. The new ADMX editor is displayed in a resizable window that prevents text clipping. Information about settings, including Help and comments, is easier to find.

  • Improvements to Group Policy Preferences. This feature applies to Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate. New features have been added to Group Policy Preferences to allow configuring Internet Explorer 8. There is also new functionality available in Scheduled Tasks and Power Plans for Windows 7. IT pros can use Group Policy Preferences to centrally configure the Internet Explorer 8, Scheduled Tasks, and Power Plans settings. This functionality is added when GPMC is installed. Additionally, the Group Policy Preference Client-Side Extensions are included in Windows 7, so IT administrators do not need to deploy the extensions through Windows Update or the Download Center.

    For more information, see What's New in Group Policy in Windows 7.

Windows Update Stand-alone Installer

The Windows Update Stand-alone Installer (Wusa.exe) provides the following improvements in Windows 7:

  • Uninstall support. Prior to Windows 7, wusa.exe included install support only. In Windows 7, wusa.exe includes uninstall support so that administrators can uninstall updates from a command line. Users can uninstall an update by providing the path to the .msu file or by providing the package number (from the Microsoft Knowledge Base) of the update to be uninstalled.

    Use the following command to uninstall an update by specifying the full path to the update:

    wusa.exe /uninstall <Path>

    Use the following command to uninstall an update by specifying the update package number from the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:<KB Number>
  • Additional command-line parameters. New parameters are available in Windows 7 to enable logging, extract the contents of an .msu file, and control the restart behavior when an update is installed in quiet mode.

Command-Line Parameter Windows Vista Windows 7


Not available. Logging could only be enabled through tracing tools.

New parameter enables logging through the Wusa.exe tool.


Not available. Contents of .msu files could only be extracted by using the expand.exe tool.

New parameter enables .msu files to be extracted through the Wusa.exe tool.


Supports the /norestart option only.

Extended to support the /forcerestart, /warnrestart, and /promptrestart options.

  • Extended error information. The Wusa.exe tool provides extended information in error scenarios for better diagnosis.
Error Error Code in Windows Vista Error Code in Windows 7

Update is already installed.



Update is not applicable.


0x80240017 (WU_E_NOT_APPLICABLE)


An update was released to provide the error codes for Windows 7 on computers that are running Windows Vista. For more information about the update, see article 949545 in the Microsoft Knowledge base (

Windows Search, Browse, and Organization

Windows 7 introduces many features and enhancements to help IT pros deploy and maintain desktop search, browse, and organization functionality. Key improvements to Windows Search, Browse, and Organization include:

  • Closer integration with everyday workflows.

  • Improvements in the performance and relevance of the search experience.

  • Introduction of aggregation and visualizations to improve organization.

  • Introduction of federated search to remote indices.

For more information, see What's New in Windows Search, Browse, and Organization.

.NET Framework Assistant and the Windows Presentation Foundation Plug-in for Firefox

The .NET Framework Assistant and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Plug-in for Firefox are not included in Windows 7. These components shipped with .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1, and they are outdated.

Consequently, when you attempt to a view an XAML browser application (XBAP) or launch a ClickOnce application in Firefox, the browser attempts to download and save the file instead of launch the file.

If needed, you can download the .NET Framework Assistant at the following locations:

The WPF Plug-in for Firefox will be released in a similar fashion at a later date.

The Microsoft Update Web site ( will also provide deployment strategies for these components.

Windows Media Audio Voice Encoder and Decoder

The DirectX Media Objects (DMOs) for Windows Media Audio Voice Encoder (wmspdmoe.dll) and Windows Media Audio Voice Decoder (wmspdmod.dll) have been updated in Windows 7. They now produce an error when there is an attempt to use them outside the set of supported sampling rates, which are 8 kHz, 16 kHz, 11.25 kHz, and 22.5 kHz.