Windows 7 Beta Preview

So i got my self a copy of the windows 7 beta. I’ve been using it on and off for a little while and i guess it’s time to write abit about some of the new features that you will see in Windows 7 as an average home user.

The first thing that you notice is that the task bar is different from previous versions of windows. While sticking with the same idea of a “Start Button” “Tasks” and “System Tray” It’s taken out the Quick Launch bar and replaced it with “Pinned Tasks”. Any program that you have running can be “Pinned” to the task bar for quick access. Also instead of tasks being displayed as both words and icons they now default to just an icon. Hover your mouse over the icon and you see every running instance of an application with a little screen shot showing you what is being displayed as well as the titles of the windows.

WindowsSevenTaskbar

 

taskbar2

Click on the “Start Button” (which is now just a windows icon) and the start menu looks just about like Windows Vista with one small exception. There is no recent documents menu. The initial screen shows your most often used programs, many of them will have a small arrow icon next to them. Click on that and it shows you which documents you last worked with in THAT program. This i think is pretty cool.

startmen1

startmen2

The system tray is now called the “Notification Area”. For those of you who are tired of your System Tray being filled to the brim with icons you will really like the changes here. You can customize the Notification Area so that it shows only the icons you want all of the time. Any other icons can be turned off (accessible in the Notification Area Menu) or set to show only when they have notifications and alerts.

systray1

Another thing that a windows vista user will notice is that the Side Bar which used to contain widgets is gone. Instead you can place the widgets directly onto your desktop.

widgets

A big part of the Windows 7 release is the new Internet Explorer 8. Features like Color Coded Tabbed Browsing, Compatibility mode (if the web page looks funny) and a cool new privacy mode are a few of the big new features in IE8.

ie8

So far i haven’t run into many issues with this beta release of Windows 7. IE8 will sometimes crash when there is a whole lot of flash embedded into a page (ie: Shitty Myspace Profiles). It picked up almost all of my drivers on install and seems to be fully compatible with Vista drivers. Vista users should not have much trouble adapting to the new interface features and XP users will be impressed with it’s improved stability. I am in the process of transitioning all of my graphics software over to Windows 7 now so look forward to a further review!

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