Windows 7 Catch-up: Enhancements

Following on from yesterday (and we’re still playing catch-up on Windows 7), a short list of some of the Windows 7 enhancements to applications and the general working environment.

All in all, it’s a vast improvement over Vista. In fact, it feels more like a continuation of XP…Applications:

  • Anytime Upgrade: You can unlock upgraded editions of Windows 7 without using original media or additional software (more of a sales opportunity for MS, but if it makes life easier…)
  • Action Center: is a single location for collecting important security and maintenance notifications. It’s the Microsoft Security Center from XP Service Pack 2, plus…
  • XP Mode Compatibility: (Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional editions only)  Windows XP Mode is available in a virtual machine to run legacy applications not compatible with the Vista/7 code-base.
    The important thing is the XP mode is treated as a bundled extra with your W7 license. Yes, you can run XP in Microsoft Virtual-PC or VirtualBox, but it had better be a licensed copy…
  • Windows 7 backup: now much easier, with “Recommended,” and “Let Me Choose” options.
  • Improved Windows Search: just typing a few letters in the Search box works like Google Instant,  showing relevant results from files and folders.
    More importantly, this time, Search works, both in run-time  performance and results
  • Windows 7 Search Builder: allows clicking search fields to build a query without memorizing search syntax.
  • One-click access to available networks: whether they are based on Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, or a VPN.
  • More codecs in Windows Media Center in Win 7 plays more A/V formats, including 3GP, AAC, DivX, MOV, XVID, and more.
  • Drag-and-drop attachments in Outlook: When you drag an item into an Outlook email, it will automatically attach the file to the email.
  • Detect Projectors: connecting and switching to a projector is easy; plug it in, use the keystroke “Windows+p” and the display should switch through (needs a modern digital projector).
  • Windows 7 calculator: two new options – programmer and statistics. Not a big thing, but useful if you’re programming or a statistician.
  • Custom Desktop Slide-shows: To create custom a desktop slide show, choose Personalize>Desktop Background. CTRL-click on a number of photos to compile the slide deck.


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