Not sure how I missed this the other day, but Microsoft recently announced that it had completed the Windows 7 Professional Pack add-in for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. This add-in will be available to customers from the Microsoft Download Center starting August 12.
"The Windows 7 Pro Pack is easy to set up and manage, especially with limited IT skills and resources, and was designed to improve and further the interoperability between these two products, thus providing small organizations with a best of class solution for IT security and protection," Microsoft senior product manager Enrico Toro noted in the blog post announcing the release. "The Pro Pack can be quickly deployed in each Windows 7 Professional computer in the domain from the 'Computers and Backup' tab in the [SBS 2011 Essentials] Dashboard, and it allows administrators to deploy pre-configured security settings, folder redirection and offline files. The group policies apply to all SBS domain users running Windows 7 Professional or higher."
The Pro Pack includes pre-configured security settings for Windows Update, Windows Defender, and Windows Firewall, as well as Windows 7 IT pro features such as folder redirection. Microsoft previously released a video demonstrating the features of the Pro Pack:
I'll be examining this add-in when it becomes available. Aside from the long-awaited Office 365 Integration Module, this is probably the most eagerly awaited Windows SBS 2011 Essentials add-in.