Windows SteadyState, a once promising tool, has been discontinued by Microsoft. Why? I am not particularly sure why; it was (is) a useful program that had (has) excellent Windows integration, something missing in other tools like Returnil, Wondershare Time Freeze, AyRecovery, etc. Maybe it was the economy. It must be noted, though, that the discontinuation of SteadyState is hardly a surprise, seeing as it was last updated in 2008 and does not support Windows 7. (If Microsoft doesn’t want to support it and update it, it would be interesting if they threw it out to the open source community to see if someone brings SteadyState up to speed.)
SteadyState will be available for download until until December 31, 2010 and support will be provided until June 30, 2011:
Windows SteadyState will continue to be available for download through December 31, 2010. Support for Windows SteadyState will continue to be available through the Microsoft Knowledge Base portal through June 30, 2011.
This announcement does not affect your right to continue to use Windows SteadyState.
If you think you will find use for SteadyState in the future, be sure to grab it now and keep it safe because after Friday it will no longer be available (not from official sources, anyway). You should keep in mind, though, a security program that hasn’t been updated in over two years is not one you should depend too heavily on (or depend on at all, for that matter); it is bound to have vulnerabilities exploited by scumware and the lack of support means the vulnerabilities won’t be patched.
The following is a brief list of features of SteadyState features (as per Microsoft):
- Windows Disk Protection – Help protect the Windows partition, which contains the Windows operating system and other programs, from being modified without administrator approval.Windows SteadyState allows you to set Windows Disk Protection to remove all changes upon restart, to remove changes at a certain date and time, or to not remove changes at all. If you choose to use Windows Disk Protection to remove changes, any changes made by shared users when they are logged on to the computer are removed when the computer is restarted
- User Restrictions and Settings – The user restrictions and settings can help to enhance and simplify the user experience. Restrict user access to programs, settings, Start menu items, and options in Windows. You can also lock shared user accounts to prevent changes from being retained from one session to the next.
- User Account Manager – Create and delete user accounts. You can use Windows SteadyState to create user accounts on alternative drives that will retain user data and settings even when Windows Disk Protection is turned on. You can also import and export user settings from one computer to another—saving valuable time and resources.
- Computer Restrictions – Control security settings, privacy settings, and more, such as preventing users from creating and storing folders in drive C and from opening Microsoft Office documents from Internet Explorer®.
- Schedule Software Updates – Update your shared computer with the latest software and security updates when it is convenient for you and your shared users.
You can grab SteadyState from the following links: