Sunday, October 11, 2009

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New Features Of Windows 7 | New In Windows 7

The first time you power up Windows 7, you may feel a sense — it looks very similar to Windows Vista. However, behind the familiar UI lies a more powerful and versatile operating system. Here are some of the most prominent new features in Windows 7.

Touchscreen support
Windows 7 is designed with touchscreen support, especially multitouch, in mind. At the time of this writing, companies like Dell and HP were shipping touchscreen computers that work with Windows 7’s multitouch. As touch screen is not common these days, we are not going deeper into it.
In case you’re interested, to demonstrate the power of touch in Windows 7, Microsoft has created the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7. The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a collection of six applications that are optimized for touch interactions. It consists of three games and three Microsoft Surface applications that have been recreated for Windows 7.

These applications are:
Microsoft Surface Globe
Displays a 3D earth with which you can interact using—what else?—your hands.
Microsoft Surface Collage
Manages your digital photos; you can resize and rearrange them.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon
A screensaver that you can interact with through multitouch.
Microsoft Blackboard
A game utilizing physics where you can use gestures to rotate gears, fans, seesaws,
and other objects.
Microsoft Rebound
A ball game in which you can play against another user or the computer.
Microsoft Garden Pond
Another interactive game where you use touch to place objects in a virtual pond.

The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7will be made available first to OEMs shipping touch-enabled PCs, although Microsoft may make it available to end users.
New Taskbar
Perhaps the most outstanding feature in Windows 7 is the new taskbar. The quicklaunch area that most Windows XP and Vista users are so used to is now gone. In place of it is the ability to pin your applications icons in the taskbar for easy access, regardless of whether the application is itself running.
Good Bye To Classic Start Menu
Sadly, the classic Start menu has also been disabled in Windows 7. Hopefully, Microsoft will turn it back on in a future service pack, or determined hackers will find a way to replace it.

Figure: shows the new taskbar in Windows 7 with several application icons in it. On the left is the Start menu button, followed by Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), Windows Explorer, and Windows Media Player.



By default, the taskbar in Windows 7 has three applications pinned to it—IE8, Windows Explorer, and Windows Media Player. As these applications are used often, they are given permanent spots in the taskbar.

As you can see in Figure above, the Media Player application does not have the rectangular border around it—this signifies that the application is not running currently. Next to the Windows Media Player icon are: Paint, Notepad (also not currently running), and Word.

New Show desktop shortcut In the taskbar is another button known as the Show desktop shortcut. The Show Figure 1-12. The Show desktop shortcut button Positioning the mouse over this button will make all the current windows transparent (this feature requires an Aero-capable video card and an edition of Windows 7 that supports Aero), revealing the desktop (known as “peeking at the desktop”; see Figure1-13).

You can disable the “peeking at the desktop” feature by right-clicking the Show desktop shortcut button and unchecking the Peek at Desktop item.

Clicking this button minimizes all opened windows and shows the desktop.


Figure: Peeking at the desktop in action

Aero Peek, Aero Shake, and Aero Snap
Another cool new feature in Windows 7 is Aero Peek. Aero Peek displays live previews of active applications when you move the mouse over the application icon in the taskbar. Figure 1-14 shows Aero Peek in action when the mouse hovers over the IE icon in
the taskbar.

Figure: Aero Peek in action
Aero Peek requires an Aero-capable video card and a Windows 7 edition that supports Aero. Aero Shake and Aero Snap will work on any Windows 7 system.
Windows displays the live previews of all running instances of IE. When the mouse hovers over one of the live previews, the selected window appears, and the rest of the windows turn transparent. To select the window, simply click the live preview.
When an application has too many open windows, the title of each window will be displayed in a list instead of live preview thumbnails.
Aero Shake allows users to quickly minimize all nonactive windows by “shaking” the current active window. To see Aero Shake in action, open up a few windows, click the title bar of one window, and use the mouse to “shake” the application. You will notice that all other windows will now be minimized, leaving the current window. To get all the other windows back to their respective states, perform the same shaking action again and they should now all appear again.

Another very useful UI feature in Windows 7 is Aero Snap. How many times have you tried to arrange multiple windows on your desktop so that you see the windows side-by-side? In Windows 7, when you drag a window to the left side of the screen, the window is automatically docked onto the left of the screen (see Figure below), occupying half the screen.

Figure: Aero Snap works by docking the window to the sides of the screen

Likewise, when dragged to the right, the window will be docked to the right. When dragged to the top, the window will be maximized. Besides dragging, Windows 7 provides several shortcuts (see Table below) for window management.

Aero Snap keyboard shortcuts
Shortcuts  -  Descriptions
Windows Key + ↓ Restores/minimizes window
Windows Key + ← Docks window to left of screen
Windows Key + → Docks window to right of screen
Windows Key + ↑ Maximizes window
Windows Key + Shift + ← Moves to left monitor
Windows Key + Shift + → Moves to right monitor

Gadgets
Microsoft first introduced gadgets in Vista. Gadgets are small utility applications that “float” on your screen, providing quick access to them. In Windows 7, gadgets are not confined to the sidebar (which itself was docked to one side of your screen in Vista) but are free to roam about on your desktop (see Figure).


Figure: Gadgets can now roam the entire desktop without restrictions.

Revised Paint and WordPad Applications
The venerable Paint and WordPad applications (see Figure below) finally got a revision in Windows 7. This time, both of them were updated to use the new ribbon interface that was introduced in Office 2007.

Figure: The Paint and WordPad applications both sport a new ribbon UI

Calculator
Besides the Paint and WordPad applications, another longtime built-in Windows application has also received some new improvements. The Calculator now has two additional modes (in addition to the Standard and Scientific modes): Programmer and Statistics (see Figure).


Figure: The Calculator in Programmer and Statistics modes

Figure: The new worksheets in the Windows 7 Calculator

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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