September 15, 2009

New Windows 7 Features

Microsoft Windows 7 comes with new features that make your computer significantly easier and faster to use than earlier versions of Windows. Windows 7 makes it easier to use the Start menu, open files and programs, find information, and accomplish other common tasks, such as send and receive secure e-mail, browse the Internet securely, scan and view pictures, play music and videos, and change settings. Windows 7 delivers the Windows Aero user experience, Instant Searches, Explorers, Gadgets, improved Internet Explorer, Windows Media Center, and advanced security and protection.

Action Center - allows you to set the system alerts you want to see, and hide the ones you don't. If you're attention is needed, Action Center will display an icon requiring you're assistance.

Aero - available in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, makes managing your desktop a visual experience. Slick graphics and other great features such as subtle animations, glass windows, and color palettes which can be customized, all contribute to a more user friendly desktop. Place the cursor on an icon, and see a thumbnail preview, even if it's a video. If you hover over the thumbnail, it converts to a full-screen view.

Aero Peek - also available in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, allows you to "peek" at your desktop, while various windows are open. A quick move of the cursor to the right edge of the taskbar, and open window(s) become transparent, which allows you to see the icons and gadgets on the desktop. To show just one window, point to the taskbar thumbnail, and that window becomes the primary window on the desktop.

Aero Shake - Sometimes too many windows can make it hard to focus on the one window you need to view quickly. With a quick click of the pane and shake of the mouse, your window of the moment becomes the main focus. Click again, give the mouse another shake, and you are back to your multiple window views.

Backup and Restore - Some additional improvements help keep your data safe. Now with Window 7 Professional or Ultimate editions, you can backup files to a network. With all versions, improved backups have safety copies of your folders, libraries or other drives. You control what you want Windows to backup by setting a schedule.

BitLocker has been improved for Windows 7 to include BitLocker To Go. Protecting your data from loss or theft is Important in today's world. You can encrypt your entire hard drive. Once it's activated, all the files that you create, use, and save are automatically encrypted. The BitLocker To Go feature now includes all your portable storage devices.

Calculator performs basic arithmetic, such as addition and subtraction, functions found on a scientific calculator, such as logarithms and factorials, programmer conversion, such as Hex and Decimal, as well as functions for statistical analysis.

Desktop Wallpaper  There are a whole host of new wallpapers in Windows 7. You can change your background to suit your day, month, or the season of the year. You can also use the new desktop slide show to show pictures, either yours or Microsoft's, for a change.

Device Management - With Windows 7, device management has all the information you need to know about your devices (cell phones, cameras, and other devices) and other equipment connected to your PC.

Display Monitor and Projector - You can also change the screen orientation (Landscape, Portrait, or flipped). If you’re using a projector as an additional monitor, you can select display settings in the Screen Resolution window or on the Start menu.

Domain Join - Need to connect to your office while working at home? With Domain Join, you can enter in specific network credentials through the Domain Join wizard, and you're in business.

Gadgets can now be adjusted in size and location on the desktop, to make the most of the information you want to see! No longer restricted to the Sidebar, your local weather or stock news can be placed where you want to see it on your desktop.

Games Explorer - Windows 7 isn't all business. There's a lot of fun to be had with Games Explorer. Multiplayer, fun statistical tracking and the ability
to get updates and newsfeeds makes Games Explorer a fun part of your day.

Getting Started continues to be where it all begins! Adding user accounts, transferring or backing up files, and personalizing Windows 7 all starts here.

HomeGroup, which is available in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, allows you to create and connect your home PC's for data sharing. You can work with another feature (Libraries) to share data. Also, with HomeGroup you control the settings and the level of sharing on the PC's, and its password protected.

Jump Lists - Ever wish you had a catalog of files that you use each day? Jump Lists are a new feature in Windows 7 that will bring you to Web sites, files, even songs, that you use each day. By right clicking on an icon on the task bar, your Jump List will appear showing the files, Web sites, or media, that you commonly use. If you have a file, Web site, or media you want to add, simply pin it to your Jump List and it will be there the next time you want it.

Libraries - A library is a great new tool to sort through your entire folders, pictures, even music, stored on multiple PC's. You might have family photos that have been transferred to a laptop, and want to pull others from another PC. With Libraries, you simply set up a main folder, and can pull from various computers to show in that one Library folder. Libraries are a great tool for pictures, music, and various documents and files.

Location-Aware Printing - Now with Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions, your laptop automatically remembers what printer it last printed on. So, when printing to multiple printers from your laptop, Windows will remember what network and printer combination you use. So, the next time you sign into one network, it will pair that printer. Signing on at the office? You'll get your office printer as a default.

Magnifier - Enlarge hard to see text when running Windows 7 is one feature most of us can appreciate. The first adjustment—Full Screen Mode —will make the text larger, next you can use the Zoom feature to further magnify. You can even type text in the magnify mode to make sure that what you type or select is correct.

Multiplayer Games - Find yourself missing the Internet powerhouse games of Checkers, Spades, and Backgammon? Well, they're back in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7. Back by popular demand, the most loved multiplayer games are back and visually enhanced to make your experience the best ever. Also included are player stats, game updates and newsfeeds.

Networking - Need to connect your laptop to a network? With Windows 7 it's easy to set up your home network for your laptop to connect to, as well as, wireless networks as you are on the go. Set up networks that contain dial-up, Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, or corporate VPNs.

On-Screen Keyboard - Using Windows Touch, you can tap the letter on your on-screen keyboard that appears on your screen and be typing in no time. There is word prediction that can help speed up the process. You can also use your mouse or other hot keys to use the on-screen keyboard.

Paint - The drawing and painting program is improved to include a Ribbon and additional drawing/brush tools.

Parenting Controls - With Windows 7, you can set up a safe online environment for your kids. Time controls such as how long they can use the computer, and what time of day, along with what programs they can use all help you set the limits they need. And, with Windows Media Center, you can also block TV shows and movies based on ratings and titles.

Performance Improvements - Windows 7 makes key enhancements to make your PC ready to go. The Sleep feature will sleep, resume, and reconnect in a quicker fashion based on the settings you choose. The Search feature has been enhanced to allow a fine tuning to get the information you need quicker. USB or flash drives can be set up so the read time can be even quicker. And, you can customize updates and features to run when you want them, and retrieve just the information you've set. Also, better performance than Vista, Windows 7 won't gobble up all your memory.

Play To Steaming Media - The Play To feature allows you to use your PC and music on other devices (compliant with the Digital Living Network Alliance, such as your Xbox 360) or PCs around the home or office using Windows 7.

Private Character Editor - You can create your own characters, which you can insert into documents by using Character Map.

Power Management - With Windows 7, better usage of power will make your battery charge last longer. Efficiency with ports not in use, less background activities running while you're working, a less needy DVD playback, screen dimming, and a better battery status indicator.

Snap Windows - Snap provides a quick and easy resizing option for open windows. By dragging and fitting windows together using the edge of your screen, you can easily view various files.

Snipping Tool - A great new screenshot feature in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, the snipping tool allows you to snip a window, or a portion of one, to quickly and easily store it for later use, or send it along in email.

Sticky Notes - Now in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, Sticky Notes can be organized and formatted to make your experience a better one! Flip through your notes, change colors, and modify the text font to use them most effectively. If you have a touch pad or pen, Sticky Notes works with these features to provide the flexibility you need.

System Restore - In Windows 7, a potentially bad crash won't have you taking hours to restore. System Restore will bring back your files to a time when things were working fine. As you work, you can create system restore points that will be saved and used in the event of a crash.

Tablet PC and Pen - If you don't always have a need for a mouse or a keyboard, but a pen and tablet are more your need, look no further. With the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, you can now perform Tablet Math. The new Math Input Panel recognizes math expressions and can work with other programs. With shape recognition, map out and organize all you want. And with Windows 7, handwriting recognition is more accurate and supports many languages. You can have a personalized dictionary to help with many company or field specific terms.

Troubleshooting - You can run troubleshooters to fix programs made for previous versions of Windows, reconfigure a hardware device, establish an Internet connection, access shared files, fix Aero desktop effects,
and fix Windows Update, maintenance, and performance issues.

Windows Anytime Upgrade - Upgrading is easier than ever if you decide to move up to the next level of Windows 7. In the past, upgrading had been difficult to manage. But now with Windows 7, you can purchase one version, and if you decide you want to move up to the next level say Premium to Ultimate, that all you need to do is purchase an upgrade key from Microsoft.

Windows Easy Transfer - This new feature helps with the transfer of data from your old PC to your new PC or laptop. Simply use the new file explorer to select the files and folders you wish to copy over. If Windows 7 has a hard time transferring, the file will be marked and Windows 7 will move over to the next file to be transferred. At the end of the transfer process, you'll get a list of files that could not be transferred if there was a problem.

Windows Explorer - The Navigation pane contains Favorites, Libraries, HomeGroups, Computer drives, and Networks. The available views include Extra Large, Large, Medium and Small Icons, List, Details, Tiles, and Content. Content view displays medium icons in a vertical column with date modified information.

Windows Firewall has received a user-friendly update. You can fine tune your settings for each of your network profiles—Home, Work, and Public. For example, restrict incoming connections while in public places to further protect against hackers and unwanted data.

Windows Live Essentials - Additional features such as email, Movie Maker, photo editing, and even blogging, are an "essential" part of Windows 7. With Live Essentials, these extra applications are sure to add a personal touch. Photo and movie making, setting up and monitoring online activities, and instant messaging, all add to the Windows 7 experience.

Windows Media Center - Available in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, Media Center has expanded to include many of the options that we've grown to love (watch and record live TV, listed to your Playlist, view photos) and enhancements for many new ones. The Turbo Scroll feature allows you to zip to the songs and shows you love, without wading through large lists. Wonderful slide shows can be created with background music. HomeGroups is a new feature that allows sharing between PCs in the home that run Windows 7. There's even a Windows Media Center gadget for the desktop to make it easier to access and use.

Windows Media Player 12 - With a whole host of options, Windows Media Player 12 is sure to please. You can play music and videos, and unprotected songs from your iTunes library. Audio types such as 3GP, AVCHD, and DivX are just a few of the choices you can play. Features such as Play To allows you to use your PC, with other compatible devices in your home, or stream over the Internet from one PC to another. A new taskbar thumbnail can help you with playback controls.

Windows Search - Need to find a file and don't remember where you stored it? With Windows Search you can type in the Start Menu search box, and look up information based on your criteria. To fine tune your search, add date, file type, and other key information to narrow your search results.

Windows Taskbar and Start Menu - Taskbar improvements in Windows 7 make it easier and more user-friendly. Now you can pin your favorite programs to the Taskbar for quick retrieval, rearrange the
icons the way you want to show them and you can even preview a window or close a window in a thumbnail preview. The Start menu provides a customizable Power button.

Windows Touch - With the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, touch screen becomes a greater reality! With the touch screen PC, you can browse papers, sites, photos, without the need for a keyboard. The Multitouch technology allows users to zoom by simply place 2 fingers and spread them apart, like you do on the iPhone. There are finger- friendly sized icons to help.

Windows XP Mode - With Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, you can use all the new applications that you've recently purchased, along with the older aps that might still run on an XP platform. The XP Mode comes in a separate download and is meant to help those businesses still running on XP.

WordPad - The word-processing program is improved to include a Ribbon, additional formatting tools, and more saving options. You can save documents in Office Open XML document (DOCX), which is for Microsoft Word 2007, OpenDocument text (ODT), which is for exchanging office documents, and Plain Text Document (TXT), which is for plain text. In addition, you can use the Paint drawing button on the Home tab to embed a new Paint object.

XPS Document Writer - You create an XPS document by printing it with the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer. The XPS Viewer—available in Windows 7—allows you to open any XPS document.

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