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The New Aero
Windows 7 makes use of a modified version of the Aero GUI that was introduced in Windows Vista. The new Aero allows for greater customization, and allows for the creation of more in-depth themes with the automatic switching of wallpaper if the user desires.
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A New UAC
User Account control was one of the more hated features of Windows Vista, with many users simply disabling it. UAC is back in Windows 7, but it has been significantly reworked to make it unobtrusive while still letting it serve the important security purpose that it was designed for.
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A Modified Start Menu
Building off of the Windows Vista start menu, the menu present in Windows 7 attempts to make finding your programs as easy as possible. A refined Start Menu search function provides more relevant results faster than in previous versions of Windows.
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Your Programs Close at Hand
One of the more innovative features of Windows 7 is the ability to pin items to the Windows Taskbar. Similar in function to the Quick Launch toolbar of previous versions of Windows, the pinning option allows more options and can be done on the fly with any program that is running. As an added bonus, the order of both pinned and non-pinned items on the Taskbar can be rearranged simply by dragging the item to its new position.
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A New Networking Option
In addition to making connecting to a network as easy as possible, Windows 7 also offers a new networking feature known as Home Group Networking. Windows 7 computers can connect to each other in a private Home Group within the network, making the sharing of files and media between Windows 7 computers as easy as right-clicking an item and selecting the "Share with Home Group" option.
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Sidebar No More
The Gadgets on the Windows Vista Sidebar were a popular feature, but many users didn't like the Sidebar itself as it used too many system resources while running in the background. Gadgets are back in Windows 7, but without the Sidebar; they can now be added anywhere on the Desktop simply by selecting "Add Gadget" from the right-click context menu.
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It's the Little Things...
A number of seemingly-minor tweaks have been added to Windows 7 in order to make it as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Programs and browser tabs can be previewed in real time by simply mousing over the item on the Taskbar, taking Vista's similar feature to the next level. Windows can be maximized or set to half-screen mode by simply dragging them and bumping them into the top or side of the screen. Microsoft compiled feedback from Vista users and Windows 7 beta testers in order to make the final version of Windows 7 as easy to use as possible.