February 22, 2009
I am now running Windows 7 Beta on both my work and home computers and thought I’d demonstrate some of the new features of Windows 7 in the upcoming posts.
The taskbar in Windows 7 has been simplified, to save time, screen space, better organize running applications and to enable faster switching.
The taskbar button labels have been turned off by default (only the icon appears). However, these can be turned back on if you don’t like the idea.
Applications having multiple windows open (or multiple tabs – like Internet Explorer) have the icons grouped together. When you place the mouse cursor over such icons, you get screenshots of all windows/tabs that are grouped under that application, and you can click and switch to the one you want.
The system tray area has been reworked upon too. Instead of having a long list of tiny icons in the notification area, these have been hidden from view, but easily retrievable. You can easily drag hidden icons from this menu and drop it on the system tray if you like.
There is also an indicator which shows the wireless signal strength.
One of the pain points in the Vista/WS08 UI that customers have often told me is how difficult it has become to view/open the properties of the network adapter, compared to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This has been simplified too. All you need to do is a right click:
If you’re wondering what the white flag is, it is the new Action Center. The Action Center helps you review recent messages about your computer’s status and helps you solve computer problems.
The space on the bottom right corner of the screen, next to the clock is the ‘Show Desktop’ button. While clicking this button minimizes all windows, hovering your mouse over it shows the desktop with just the border outlines of all windows visible – very handy if all you want is just a quick peek at that gadget on your desktop without minimizing anything!