Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Windows 7 will offer Problem Steps Recorder, could revolutionize tech support jobs; many other benes

Bill Detwiler has a video today “5 Features that will make you love Windows 7” (link here). For some of them, it’s about time. The features include allowing you to create a system restore CD yourself along with much better control of system backup options (apparently not dependent on the manufacturer’s imaging of the main hard drive – solving the out-of-space problem); the ability to make an ISO CD; easy-to-learn Unix-like scripts from the command prompt (the “Power Shell”); a Problem Steps Recorder (PSR).

The PSR will be very helpful in help desks, of systems engineers or programmers who must take calls of “bugs” from users. The PSR allows the user to enter a simple command and then reproduce the problem. The engineer can analyze a log of the commands entered. Some of this technique for problem solving is common today (support people often look at Unix or Linux logs to analyze user freezes or failures or incorrect results).

Many people who bought computers recently have contracts that allow free installation of Windows 7 in January 2010. It does sound as though Windows 7 solves many of the problems slowing down Vista users, and that corporate IT support departments (even customer service departments in ISP’s and cable companies) will find the PSR a tool to resolve many kinds of problems much more quickly; but end users will have to be trained to use it, too. These features could change the nature of IT and customer service support help desk jobs in the future.

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