Microsoft’s Windows XP, as it’s configured on most computers from a vendor, has very few, if any, customizations applied. IST spent many months working together with Academic Support departments at UW to customize the operating system and departmental applications in a way preferred by most of our clients. We believe these changes not only improve aesthetics but also make the user more productive.
When we do this we install Windows XP Professional on a computer and customize it to our specifications. Then we install the required primary applications from previously IST-built executables that have also been customized accordingly. Lastly we make a few more minor changes and cut an image of the whole hard disk. This image was then put on most desktop PC’s in Academic Support. (Please note that this gives us a quick and easy way to replace broken hardware and software.) Then the computer is joined to the ADS domain where more changes are automatically applied (by domain policies).