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Windows 7 Roundup

January 20, 2009


Windows 7 is currently under beta, and I recently gave it a go on a virtual environment on my computer. Here’s a quick roundup of Windows 7 so far.

First of all, chaotic tech has a screencast on Windows 7, actually, found in the screencast section. I encourage you to take a look. I do a visual demonstration of much new stuff.

In this article, I’m writing about new things from Windows 7. These are in no particular order.

  1. Aero Snap: Drag a window to the right or left and it “docks” on that side, taking up half of the screen. Drag it back off and it retains its original shape. Drag it to the top and it maximizes.
  2. Aero Shake: Shake a window and all windows behind it minimize, showing only that window and the desktop.
  3. New Taskbar: The new taskbar mixes quick launch (now “pinned programs”) with the active ones. Active ones are indicated with a border. There are layered windows, showing information and integrating with application, like tabs open for Internet Explorer.
  4. Concise UAC: Windows 7 lets you control the level of nagginess that User Account Control will be to you. There are four levels to choose from.
  5. Built-in Theming: Windows 7 comes with five themes with wallpapers, colors, and sounds together, and you can download more from the Microsoft website.
  6. Start Menu: The new start menu now has little menus you can get by hovering over a specific application.
  7. General Speed: Windows 7 is faster in general. It starts up faster than XP or Vista. It’s much more light.
  8. No More Bloatware: Windows 7 doesn’t come with things like Movie Maker anymore; you can download those from Microsoft’s website as Live applications.
  9. Instant Show Desktop: Move your mouse to the bottom right corner and it automatically turns all windows transparent, letting you see behind your windows to your desktop. Click, and all is minimized.
  10. Aero Peek: Hover over an icon on the taskbar, and the windows in front of that application and behind it turn transparent, allowing you to see that application.
  11. Intuitive Explore: Explorer is much more intuitive now. I can’t really describe this; you’ll have to check it out yourself.
  12. Ribbon in WordPad, Paint, etc.: You can now find the Ribbon (remember Office 2007?) inside applications like WordPad and Paint.
  13. Built-in .docx support: WordPad can open .docx files now, so you don’t need Microsoft Office to open them.
  14. Accelerators: Built into IE8, this basically just allows one-click adding of things like maps to emails and stuff. Thanks, Andy.

Have anything else to add? Shout out in the comments.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy H. permalink
    January 23, 2009 9:06 pm

    First, hello, and sorry i haven’t been looking at your blogs for a while
    second, you forgot about the accelerators. they’re just shortcuts for right clicking, but easily saves half a minute or so each time you use it. For example, you could open your mail, get an address, copy, then go to mapquest and paste in a form, and then get your map. But with accelerators, you highlight the address, right click and choose “send to mapquest”, and you go straight to the map! But there are others, too, like facebook, google, etc. I think that’s enough for a #14 🙂

    • January 23, 2009 9:43 pm

      @Andy H: Yeah, you’re right. I added that to the list. I didn’t add it before because I always use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome when I’m browsing the web. I only open up IE when I’m testing my web designs for cross-compatibility. Still, I added it. Thanks.

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