No, an actual Windows Steady State for Windows 7 will not be provided by Microsoft, but the Redmond company is offering an alternative, promising that it is just as good as the real thing.
The move comes following feedback from IT professionals that repeatedly requested that the software giant provide a new version of Steady State tailored to Windows 7.
While this won’t happen, Microsoft is offering a collection of resources designed to allow IT pros to leverage Windows 7 in order to enjoy the same benefits provided by Steady State.
“After we evaluated the types of functionality Steady State provides, we found that using new Windows capabilities that are built into Windows 7, Group Policies and free tools from Microsoft, the majority of Steady State functionality could actually be replicated by IT admins,” revealed Microsoft’s Stephen L Rose.
In this regard, admins looking to lock Windows 7 desktop configurations in place should turn to the alternative resources provided by the Redmond company, since at this point in time a Steady State version specifically designed for Windows Vista’s successor is highly unlikely.
“We have just released a whitepaper along with an accompanying document that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and also a reference excel worksheet which can be used to look up and filter the settings described in the whitepaper,” Rose added.
There are no less than three resources available for IT professionals, including: Creating a Steady State by Using Microsoft Technologies; Group Policy Settings for Creating a Steady State; and The Steady State Reference Spreadsheet.
“Steady State was designed to work with Windows XP and Windows Vista, and was a really popular toolkit because it made it easy to do things like automatically discard all changes to a system that users may have made on the PC, lock down the desktop to control what Windows applications a user could use as well as control what Windows settings that users might be able to change,” Rose explained.
Update: "The new Windows capabilities that are built into Windows 7, Group Policy, and free tools/guidance from Microsoft will cover the Steady State functionality that enables managed kiosks; however, it is not an exact replacement for SteadyState, which also provided the ability to reset a PC to a pre-configured state after use," a Microsoft spokesperson told me.