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Windows 7 – Great “new” features

Alex Christie

18 November 2008

Win7_2Vista was very hyped up while it was being development. It promised many things, but never delivered. This was mainly due to the fact that Vista was too user friendly for its own good, causing more head ache than the promised simplicity.

In the mean time, while everyone has been complaining about Vista, Microsoft has been working on the latest incarnation of Windows, called Windows 7 and making sure that they’ve minimized as much of Vista’s original “problems” as possible.

So which of Windows 7 features will save Microsoft from the depths of Vista’s failures? Why don’t you decide and leave a comment?

User –Account Control

Those familiar with Vista will surely be able to tell you how annoying it is every time this feature pops up. The security feature, called the User Account Control (UAC) had good intentions, but ultimately became Vista biggest head ache.

Every time a user changed a setting, the screen would black out and return with a message box confirming the setting change. Once accepted, this would then be followed again with a  screen black out and only then could the user continue. A settings change that could/should have taken you a few seconds now takes half a minute.

Windows 7′s fix for this is to give the user more control over the UAC. The user will now be able to specify which events the UAC should activate for. According to Microsoft this should solve the problem.

Taskbar

The biggest change here from Vista is the exclusion of the Quick Launch bar. Windows 7 will now display programs as large Icons, which can be arranged in order as the user likes. A little like another Silicon Valley giant perhaps?

Hover the mouse pointer over the Icon and it will display a thumb nail screen of the current running program.

Homegroup

This is a new home networking feature. It easily finds Windows 7 computers on your home network and the shares media between them. The nice part of the feature is that it only allows home PC’s to connect and won’t show once you are on a public network.

To set this up the users should only change their Network Location to home and that’s it. It does allow a lot of customization though, allowing security to be implemented so that a person using your PC’s won’t just be able to work with files on the home network.

Libraries

Instead of having all your documents and multimedia under the famous Documents folder, Libraries will now allow for content to be categorized and managed each in their own Library. These will include the usual music, video, photos, downloads etc. (Another similarity to it’s (for the time being) unnamed rival)

Touch Screen capability

With all the rage about touch screen smart phones of late, Microsoft has thought that it would be a great idea to implement into Windows 7, believing that it could take off in the near future.

The feature is great and was cleverly thought out. Swapping between your mouse and the touch screen is as simple as using either. Work with your mouse, then touch the screen, a water drop appears and the mouse pointer disappears.

Touching parts of the screen automatically enlarges the object. For instance, touch the start button and the start menu enlarges slightly to make navigation a lot easier. (Icons getting bigger when hovered over? Apple sure know how to build an operating system and Microsoft’s latest (if a little simillar) offering could be one to look out for…)

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