Monday, October 26, 2009

Windows 7 Released - Now how do I use it?

If you rushed out on 10.22.09 and upgraded to Windows 7, you may be asking yourself, "What's new here?"

The Windows 7 operating system shares many features and functions with Windows Vista. It also improves on Vista. Here is a list of features and functions that are unique to Windows 7:

· Action Center – allows users to see what alerts Windows 7 shows; a handy way to control those annoying UAC messages while not having to disable it.

· Aero Shake – click and shake one open window and all others on the desktop will minimize.

· Aero Snap – drag a window to any edge of the display and it will automatically re-size.

· Aero Peek - point to the right edge of the taskbar to watch open windows turn transparent, revealing all your hidden icons and gadgets

· Aero Templates, Themes – new backgrounds and themes unique and created for Windows 7 (including free additional themes downloadable from Microsoft).

· Device Stage - helps users interact with any compatible device connected to a Windows 7 computer; view device status and run common tasks from a single window. The key words here are "compatible devices."

· Domain Join – helps business users quickly connect to different office networks.

· Gadgets (Improved) – the Sidebar has been eliminated; Gadgets can be placed anywhere; New Gadgets have more functionality.

· Home Group – enables users to quickly and easily create home networks between computers using Windows 7.

· Jump Lists - right-click a program icon and see a list of recently used files that use that program.

· Libraries - make it easier to find, work with, and organize documents, music, pictures, and videos scattered across your PC or network.

· Location-Aware Printing – if you travel between offices or home and office, this feature is handy: Windows 7 remembers which network and printer you're using and automatically switches the default printer to match the one you last used.

· Multiplayer Games – Microsoft has revived 3 XP multiplayer games: Internet Checkers, Internet Spades, and Internet Backgammon.

· Networking (Improved) – improved task bar widget that allows for quick network connection and configuration.

· Play to function - right-click the music tracks you’d like to hear and select Play To. Play To works with other PCs running Windows 7 and devices compliant with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media standard.

· Performance (Improved) – For Sleep mode to reconnect with Wireless Networks, limited background processes to those needed for currently used devices, faster desktop searching, and easier setup for external devices.

· Task Bar (Improved) - "pin" favorite programs anywhere on the taskbar; rearrange programs in any way you like by clicking and dragging. Point to a taskbar icon to see a thumbnail preview of open files or programs. Then, move your mouse over a thumbnail to preview the window full-screen.

· Windows Media Center (Improved) – a few new features and integrates with Home Group.

· Windows Media Player 12 – An upgrade from version 11 that plays the most popular audio and video formats—including new support for 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, DivX, MOV, and Xvid; also available by download, no doubt.

· Windows Touch – support for computer touchscreens.

· Windows XP Mode – Allows an XP session of Windows to run so that Business applications will work within Windows 7 – however, will not work with most current Intel and some AMD-based computers.

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