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Things I love about Windows 7 (beta)

I've been using Windows 7 since the M3 release at the PDC and I'm loving it. I love it even more since Beta 1 and here are just some of the reasons why:

  1. Aero Snap
    In today's landscape of huge monitor resolutions it's difficult to use all that space to maximum effect when working with multiple windows. Multiple monitors has been the only way to do this really effectively to date - not any more. Now I just drag a window to the side of the screen and it will automatically *snap* to fill half of the screen. There's more to Aero Snap too - you can drag a window to the top of the screen to maximise it, drag to the bottom of a window to maximise it in height only and even shake a window to minimize all other windows. Awesome.

    Two snapped windows

  2. The new task bar
    Some people aren't sure about this one and there's definitely a learning curve (remember, the task bar hasn't really changed since 1995!). However with a bit of time and effort I'm really starting to love it. The conceptual model I've started to build in my head is that it's effectively a big Quick Start bar that doubles up as a task bar. I can register shortcuts along the length of the bar and when a program is running, that icon becomes 'emboxed' and you can mouse over it to display running instances. These instances can be selected, closed and even previewed (shown below - taskbar zoomed in slightly) directly from here.

    New Taskbar

  3. Progress in the TaskBar icons
    I like this so much I felt it deserved an entry all of its own. If an application is doing some work and displaying a progressbar it can display this progress in the TaskBar icon itself. Sadly, not all application work automatically but here's the Windows Experience Index running and about 40% complete. It even works for file copy operations. Let's hope more applications (and installers!) take advantage of this.

    Progress in Taskbar

  4. Improved UAC
    One of the first things I noticed about Windows 7 was how much faster the new UAC dialog seemed to appear and work in general. A massive improvement. I even prefer the new UAC icon and the "Yes, No" terminology in the dialog. Everything about it just feels better.

  5. Bigger Text Size
    Another thing that seems to *just work better* is the higher pixels per inch (or DPI) support. I can't quite put my finger on why this is better than Vista but it is. The only thing I don't like is the way IE8 handles this. It just chooses to scale web pages in their entirity with its new zooming support. In my opinion this makes most pages look pretty bad, especially images, and I'd rather avoid it so I go in to Tools | Internet Options | Advanced | Accessibility and set the "Reset zoom level for new windows and tabs" to false. Then I can set the zoom level in the page to 100% and IE8 will leave it there in the future.

    IE8 Zoom Setting

  6. Aero Snap (again)
    I've got to mention this feature again. I've got my blog editing software 'docked' to the left of the screen right now and I'm using the right to hold things I'm referring too. In many instances this beats multiple monitors as I don't have to jump the void between screens. I hope we'll see developers optimising displays for tall thin spaces!
There are many more additive features in there that I love too, from Libraries to Gadgets without the mucky Sidebar, Windows 7 is shaping up to be a great release.

Tags: Windows 7

Josh Post By Josh Twist
9:12 AM
11 Jan 2009

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Comments are closed for this post.

Posted by ramamoorthy @ 16 Jan 2009 6:57 AM
hi i like windows 7 than my xp. i hate windows vista. now again i love windows . no can beat windows .. hahaha

Posted by William @ 11 Feb 2009 7:03 PM
Just like I'm happy that I skipped Windows 2000(98->XP), I'm happy that I'm skipping Vista too. GO Windows 7 YAY!

I'm planning to use Ubuntu as a side OS, but as we all know, Linux still has a long way to go to become people friendly.

I have friends that want me to switch to Mac, but I just can't do that. I rather have cool looking pc towers that I can upgrade, than a Mac any day of the week.

Posted by Howie @ 07 May 2009 11:49 AM
Awsome! I have been using Vista and XP at work and home. Much prefered XP untill now, after 3 hours of Windows 7 I'm sold on it. It even installed correctly my old Epson CX6600 without the driver CD, this all-in-one will not work at all when connected directly to a Vista machine. Any news of prices for 7 yet?

Posted by steve @ 09 May 2009 3:25 PM
I love it i am so happy with it very stable better than xp and vista together its fast and snappy

Posted by Steve @ 09 May 2009 3:26 PM
I plan on adding more ram and a new hard drive to my other computers just to put windows 7 on

Posted by Gary @ 21 May 2009 9:56 AM
I love Windows 7 too. Except for having to get a new wireless adapter for my 3 year old Dell, it installed quickly and without drama. But boy, is it fast!! I can't believe it is the same computer, definitely will be upgrading!

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