Windows SteadyState is a useful tool for shared-computer access; however, it supports 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista only. It does not support Windows 7. It helps defend shared computers from unauthorized changes and restricts users from changing system settings or files. Microsoft has also decided to discontinue downloads of the very useful Windows SteadyState after this year..
Microsoft has however released a set of downloads which provide information for IT professionals and partners who support Internet cafes, libraries, and schools. It describes how to create a steady state on shared-access computers, using Group Policy, native Windows 7 features, and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
This white paper is part of a set that you can download from the Microsoft Download Center and includes:
- Creating a Steady State by Using Microsoft Technologies, which describes the native Windows 7 features and free Microsoft tools that you can use to create a steady state on computers running Windows 7.
- Group Policy Settings for Creating a Steady State (this white paper), which is a reference that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and prevent users from changing those settings.
- The SteadyState Reference worksheet (.xlsx file), which you can use to look up and filter settings that the white paper and this reference describe. For example, you can quickly find settings related to Start Menu restrictions.
Even though Windows SteadyState does not support Windows 7, many of its features can be replicated by using native Windows 7 features and free tools from Microsoft.
Microsoft modifies Steady State Mode to Guest Mode in Windows 7 may also interest you.