What’s up with Windows 7?

Windows, Windows, Windows. Ever time there is a release, there’s always been discussion about versions, modes and performance:

Some things never really change, especially improvements in operating systems. Skipping over the Windows XP to Vista transition, we had been used to seeing a new Microsoft Windows version around a 2-3 year cycle. With the next version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 7, we are already seeing a ton of development.

Windows_3.0_workspace Am_windows95_desktop

From Windows 3.0 (the first version that was used on a large amount of desktops), to Windows 95, the breakthrough PC/Internet edition, to 98, to XP…..
Windows98 Windows_XP

To the current iteration, Windows Vista, we’ve always had betas and previews and release candidates before RTM (Release to Manufacturing) editions finally come out, but…

Windows_Vista_Desktop

We heard a ton about Windows 7 in the past few months. As you may know already, Windows 7 is the next version of Microsoft Windows for PCs - it is intended to be an incremental upgrade from Windows Vista, with the goal of being fully compatible with device drivers, applications, and hardware with which Windows Vista is already compatible. Some new features, including Multi-Touch (shown below) may or may not finally be included too:

Incremental upgrades, such as taskbar changes, improvements to Wordpad, and other UI items are also abound:

But what are the latest and greatest updates?

Businesses and Windows 7

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen more details on how this version will be equipped to help the largest problems that enterprises and small business face. from http://windowsteamblog.com/:

For our Quantitative Research, we engaged extensively with almost 4000 customers in developing and emerging markets. This research surfaced the top areas of concern: Risk Management, Compliance and Mobility. Key findings included:

  • 56% said they needed help protecting corporate data on laptops. This validated our decision to include BitLocker in Windows 7 Enterprise, and to extend its capabilities to the portable hard drives that can be just as dangerous and more loosely monitored than laptops.
  • 61% expressed a deep concern about ensuring their users install and use only authorized applications (for fear of security breaches from unauthorized applications). This helped prioritize our plan to develop AppLocker.
  • 49% wanted to make it easier for remote workers to access corporate resources, bubbling a plan up for Direct Access capabilities.

Turning Windows Features On and Off

 

from Engineering Windows 7:

In the Release Candidate for Windows 7 we have extended the control panel called “Windows Features” which is available from the standard “Programs and Features” control panel (we often call this ARP, for the original name of Add/Remove Programs). This location is unchanged from Vista and XP, though the wording has been clarified. In Windows 7 if you bring up the Windows Features control panel by clicking on “Turn Windows Features on or off” (or just typing “Windows features” in the start menu) you will see the following in the Release Candidate (by default the hierarchy is not fully expanded, but in this screen shot I’ve expanded some elements for additional information:

image_2

There is a ton of examples showing how Microsoft is working on the details – functionality like the above that really makes a difference in usability with daily use.

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