Pin Me

Windows 7 Illustrated in Screenshots

written by: J. Edward Casteele•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/4/2009

The release of Windows 7 brings with it a number of changes and imrpovements from previous version of the Windows operating system. Both major and minor changes have been implemented to help make Windows 7 the most user-friendly and stable version of Windows to date.

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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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    Windows 7 GUI

    The new Windows 7 GUI with AeroWindows 7 themes are comprised of several elementsAero colors and transparency have several optionsFlip 3D and other Vista GUI features return in 7
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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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    User Account Control

    User Account Control returns with a new formatUAC can still be set to never notify
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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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    The Start Menu

    The Start Menu shares much in common with Vista'sStart Menu Seach has been refined
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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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    Pinning Items to the Taskbar

    Windows 7 offers the ability to pin itemsTaskbar items can also be rearrangedPinned items remain even after they are closedPinned items can also be unpinned
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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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    Homegroup Networking

    The Network and Sharing Center has been updatedNetworks can be Home, Office or PublicHomegroups let Windows 7 PC's share easily
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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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    Windows 7 Gadgets

    Gadgets are added in the context menuGadgets are similar to their Vista counterpartsGadgets can be added anywhere
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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.

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    Other Tweaks

    Docking windows to the top maximizes themDocking windows to the side makes them halfscreenAll tabs and windows can be previewed in real time