Are you Ready for Windows 7?


One for the Road - What's New?

One for the Road - What's New?

With all things new, there's plenty to look forward to. After all, it's not that easy to churn out a new Operating System (OS) and when it does come about, it better have good reasons to encourage folks to make the switch, such as the enhancements to the User Interface (UI) for example. So let's take a quick look to see what Windows 7 has up its sleeve for the users.

Easy Sharing with HomeGroup

Windows 7 makes sharing files easy - just create a HomeGroup on your home network, select which libraries (another new Windows 7 feature which consolidates your media across different folders) and devices to share with, get a password and you're done. No more fussing about with confusing network settings and network drives (an issue which plagues most of us, all of the time, especially in a large office environment like our own). More details on setup and usage on the following page.

A New Taskbar

The most noticeable change in Windows 7 is the thicker taskbar. The first major overhaul since Windows 95, the taskbar is now both an icon-driven application launcher, and an applications manager with Aero Peek and Jump Lists (more on these later). Action Centre consolidates notifications, giving you action steps and reduces distracting notifications. This new taskbar user interface makes getting things done easier, and is one we give two enthusiastic thumbs up for (or three, if we happened to have another arm).

Windows Gestures

Windows 7 marks a leap towards a more intuitive user interface with gestural shortcuts. Dragging a window to the top edge maximizes it, dragging it off restores it. Drag a window to the left or right edge and it takes up half of the screen; making it really easy to put two windows side by side. Coolest of all is Aero Shake; grab a window's title bar and shake it to minimize every other window to reduce visual clutter, and shake it again to restore them back.

 

New Shortcuts

 

Windows 7 adds a batch of new shortcut keys that make use of the Windows button to control... Windows! Pressing Win+Up on your keyboard maximizes the current window, Win+Down minimizes or restores, Win+Left/Right docks the window to either side, Win+Home will clear all windows besides the current one and Win+Space will make all windows transparent. You can see this in action in our screenshot - and yes, that's Aero Peek at work.