Engineering Windows 7

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Some Changes Since Beta for the RC

Some Changes Since Beta for the RC

We’ve been quite busy for the past two months or so working through all the feedback we’ve received on Windows 7.  It should be no surprise but the Release Candidate for Windows 7 will have quite a few changes, many under the hood so to speak but also many visible.  Some have asked if the featureset is "frozen" then what will we change--we change a lot of things in the beta based on feedback and we try to do so in a systematic manner with the focus on the goals for the release.  The goal of having a fully functional Beta was to make sure we received reliable feedback and not a lot of "hey this doesn't work at all" sorts of reports.  This has allowed us to really focus on delivering a refined RC where the changes we made are all the reflection of feedback we have received. 

Building on the previous post that looked at the broad view of feedback, we want to start posting on the feedback and the engineering actions we’ve taken in responding to the feedback.  We won’t be able to cover all the changes (as we’re still busy making them), but for today we wanted to start with a sampling of some of the more visible changes.  We’re still on the same path working towards the release candidate and of course we know everyone is anxious for the next phase of our path to RTM.  In the meantime, our full time machines are still running the Beta build. 

Today’s post is from Chaitanya, who has previously posted on some of the core user interface work. --Steven

This blog post talks about a few of the improvements that will be in our Release Candidate (RC) based upon customer feedback. There are many under the hood changes (bug fixes, compatibility fixes, performance improvements, and improvements) across the entire dev team that we just don’t have room to discuss here, but we thought you’d enjoy a taste of some changes made by three of our feature teams: Core User Experience, Find & Organize and Devices & Media.  The comments in this article come from a variety of verbatim sources, with identifying information withheld. 

Desktop Experience

1. Windows Flip (ALT + TAB) with Aero Peek

We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Aero Peek and how it helps customers switch windows with increased confidence. Daniel wrote to tell us “I’m wondering why Peek was never implemented for the ALT + TAB window. The thumbnails look/behave the same way as the taskbar thumbnails when you hover the mouse over them. It seems logical that they would exhibit the peek behavior, too”. We decided to make this change since we heard many requests for it. One can still quickly flip between and cycle through running windows using the ALT+TAB keys, but when more window information is needed Aero Peek will appear.  This is triggered by a time delay as you pause while keyboarding through running windows.

Fig 1.

Aero Peek triggered from Windows Flip (ALT+TAB)

Aero Peek triggered from Windows Flip (ALT+TAB)

2. Windows Logo + <#> keyboard shortcut

Enthusiasts often ask us for more keyboard shortcuts to simplify their common tasks. Efficiency is key. We’ve answered with a very powerful new keyboard shortcut for the taskbar that may just alienate mice everywhere. Pressing Windows Logo + <#> (where <#> corresponds to an item’s order in Quick Launch) in Vista would simply launch the item. As part of our unification of Quick Launch with the taskband in Windows 7, we now beef up the shortcut so it can both launch and switch. For example, if IE wasn’t running in Fig 1 then Windows Logo + 2 will launch the program (as it did in Vista). If IE is running with a single window, the same shortcut will now switch to the program. The magic really begins when IE is running with several windows or tabs—holding down the Windows Logo and tapping the 2 key repeatedly will actually cycle through the open IE items off the taskbar (with Aero Peek, of course). Letting go simply switches to the corresponding window. Think of this as per-program ALT +TAB shortcut for the first 10 items on the taskbar. If you need a new instance for IE, simply use SHIFT + Windows Logo + <#>. A program’s Jump List may also be accessed via ALT+ Windows Logo + <#>. Finally, you can even flip back to the last active window of a program by using CTRL+ Windows Logo + <#> (this also works by holding CTRL with a mouse click on a taskbar button). Keyboard aficionados rejoice!

3. Needy State

“Needy window” is the internal term we use for a window that requires your attention. Since the ‘90s, the taskbar has always provided some type of visualization to alert the customer to this state such as by flashing the button. A careful balance must be struck between providing information and not irritating the customer. With the new taskbar, we received feedback that Outlook reminders or a Messenger chat sometimes went unnoticed because needy windows were too subtle. For example, Mudassir opened a bug to say “The flashing is not obvious enough to get user's attention. Sometime I don't even notice it. It flashes for a little bit and then stops. If I am away the icon flashes and stops before I come back. The icon is not noticeable.” We’ve made three changes that should address the issue. First, we changed the flashing animation curve to make it more noticeable (from a sine to a sawtooth wave). Second, we used a bolder orange color. Finally, we wanted to double the number of flashes which is currently set to three. As a nod to Windows 7, we decided to go with seven flashes instead.

4. Taskbar “Open With”

Quick Launch always supported the ability to drop a file onto a pinned program and have it open with that program. The new taskbar on the other hand, always treats a drop as a pin command. Drop a program and the program is pinned. Drop a file and the file will be pinned under its respective program’s Jump List and that program automatically gets pinned to the taskbar. It was important for us to keep drag/drop consistent. We believe that for most cases people will open files through the desktop by just double-clicking them or from the Jump List and the default program will open. However, there are some scenarios when a customer wants to open a certain file type with another program. We heard this feedback and decided to revive “Open With” drag/drop on the taskbar with a keyboard modifier. One can hold down SHIFT and drop the file on the desired program.

5. Taskbar scaling

We’ve reclaimed lots of space on the taskbar by unifying launching/switching, by collapsing open windows and by cleaning the notification area. Still, some have asked for even more room to pin the programs they use regularly. We’ve made a change to squeeze in 24-39% more icons before the taskbar scrolls; depending upon your resolution, icon size and assuming the default notification area. Table 1 illustrates the new button capacity before the taskbar begins to scroll as well as the capacity growth since Beta. We believe customers will find more than enough room to pin their common programs.

Table 1.

Maximum taskbar button capacity before scrolling


Large Icons

Small Icons

% Increase from Beta (large/small icons)




25% / 36%




25% / 38%




25% / 32%




24% / 39%

6. Anchoring taskbar thumbnails

Hovering or clicking on a taskbar button surfaces all the running windows for that program. Upon seeing a set of open thumbnails, Kozlow asked “How do I know which application has opened the thumbnails group?” In other words, the thumbnails didn’t appear visually connected to the taskbar. We made a visual update that now keeps the color hot-track effect on when the mouse is over a thumbnail. In fig 2 you can see that IE retains its blue Color Hot-track visual even though the mouse is over a thumbnail.

Fig 2.

Color Hot-track stays active when the mouse hovers over taskbar thumbnails

Color Hot-track stays active when the mouse hovers over taskbar thumbnails

7. Newly installed programs

“Customer in control” is so strong a mantra for Windows 7 we don’t even allow programs to pin themselves to the taskbar when they are installed. This is a task expressly reserved for the customer. We’ve gotten some requests to make this goal a bit easier so now when a program is installed, it is automatically and temporarily surfaced at the bottom of the Start Menu. The customer can easily discover this new addition, launch it directly and optionally drag it to the taskbar for convenient access in the future.

8. Jump List length

Jump Lists are proving to be a valuable tool to quickly jump to commonly access files, folders, links and tasks. Steve filed a bug in which he said “The whole point of the jump list is to make it easier to jump to your favorite locations. However, it doesn't save me time having to scan through a long list of frequent locations.” In other words, sometimes it’s hard to parse an item when the list gets too long. Our telemetry data informs us that in most cases customers are clicking on the first 10 items. Therefore, we’ve updated Jump Lists so that only a maximum of 10 items may be automatically suggested (this doesn’t apply to tasks or pinned items). Don’t worry—there’s even a setting for enthusiasts to customize the length of the list.

9. Increased pinning flexibility with Jump List

For organizational, scaling and identification purposes, the taskbar is designed to hold files, folders and links in a program’s Jump List. Items can only be pinned to the Jump List of programs registered to handle that file type. Based on feedback we’ve received we now allow one to pin items to a Jump List belonging to a program that isn’t registered to handle that file type. Better yet, pinning the item in most cases will create a new registration so that launching it from the Jump List will always open the file with that specific program. For example, one can pin an .HTML file to Notepad’s Jump List and when clicked on from the menu, the file will always open in Notepad even though IE by default handles the file type.

10. Desktop icon and gadget view options

Windows 7 makes gadgets far easier to manage, view and access by building them directly into the desktop. David’s feedback matches what others were telling us: “In Vista, I was able to hide desktop icons while my gadgets were still visible and available. I liked this feature in Vista, especially with all the icons that are constantly dropped on the desktop by app installers. I don't want to see the icons, but I still want to see my gadgets.” In Beta it was impossible to separate desktop icons from gadgets under the View setting available by right-clicking on the desktop. We made a change to afford independent control to each so that one can opt to hide just her gadgets or just her desktop icons.


11. Aero Peek for touch

We’re excited about Peek and we further refined its functionality. Our touch customers enjoy the benefits of direct manipulation, but inform us they feel left out of some of new functionality that’s available for the mouse and keyboard. We’ve made two improvements that spreads the love. First, the taskbar’s thumbnails now support a touch gesture so one can drag her finger across the UI and trigger Aero Peek. Also, the Show Desktop button is improved so a press-and-hold will allow the customer to peek at the desktop. A regular tap in both these scenarios still to commits the switch.

12. Multi-touch touch keyboard

A funny thing happens when one uses touch to interact with a software keyboard for the first time. The natural instinct is to press multiple buttons simultaneously like they do with a real keyboard. It’s quite reasonable to try to use SHIFT + <letter> to capitalize, for example. RC ushers in multi-touch support for the Touch Keyboard so that customers enjoy a more realistic experience.

13. Multi-touch right-click

People who are rely on touch give us mixed feelings towards tap and hold to bring up a context menu. This approach works, but it also involves a slight delay. We now have a fast new multi-touch gesture for right-click. Simply touch an item with one finger and use another finger to tap and summon a context menu.

14. Drag/Drop and selection

In Beta there was no discoverable way to select text in a website that scrolled both horizontally and vertically. Customers are now able to drag/drop and select items with touch, even inside scrolling pages. The new behavior is optimized for the two most common actions by touch customers—scrolling up and down and dragging left to right.


15. Internet access feedback

The new network experience from the taskbar’s notification area makes it much easier to find and connect to networks. People seem to also really like the wireless signal strength that is available at a glance. In our effort to simplify the experience we removed indications for some advanced scenarios. Based upon feedback, we’ve decided to introduce a new overlay icon which now reveals when there is a local connection without internet access.

Control Panel

16. User Account Control

If you’ve been following this blog, then you already know about a recent design change we’ve made that will prompt for any modification made to the UAC Control Panel. For more information, please refer to the earlier post on UAC Feedback and Follow-Up.

17. Locking a machine without a screensaver

It isn’t uncommon for IT administrators to want their corporate machines to auto-lock after a certain amount of time. In Beta, enabling this functionality required a screensaver to be set. We’ve since made a change to allow this functionality even when no screensaver is specified.

18. Faster access to High Performance power plan

Clicking on the battery flout from the taskbar notification area offers two different power plans: Balanced and Power saver. Windows 7 laptops are configured by default to use the Balanced plan since this setting best balances a good experience while promoting more environmentally friendly power use. However, some customers tell us they want to be able to quickly toggle between Balanced and High Performance (yet another power plan). We’ve taken a change to now show the latter in the flyout menu when it is enabled under the Power Options Control Panel.

19. Custom theme improvements

We’ve always known customers love personalizing their Windows experience. At the center of this expression of individuality are ingredients such as the desktop background, glass color, sounds and screensavers. In Windows 7 we’ve introduced themes that make it easy to enable a whole package of default combinations or for customers to save their own creations. However, during Beta we heard feedback along the lines of “I just changed my background or color and I see the change, but I thought it was saved when it really wasn’t”. We added text under each theme to not only aid in identification, but also to provide feedback on the state of a theme. The new “Unsaved Theme” text also ties better to the nearby “Save theme” command. These tweaks should make personalization a more predictable and enjoyable experience.

Windows Media Player

20. Improved Internet Radio playback

Internet radio playback continues to gain in popularity. We received feedback that sometimes playback of radio streams may be inconsistent depending on network conditions. It’s worth noting that our understanding of this issue was greatly helped by the broad scale of usage across so many customers and network topologies and our telemetry in the Beta. Windows Media Player has made changes to make streaming playback more reliable and resilient.

21. Improved playback support for video content from digital camcorders and cameras

Customers loved the increased range of formats natively supported by the Windows 7 Beta, but noticed areas where they wanted broader support.  For example, one was unable to seek to a specific spot in the video in Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center for AVCHD content that was imported from a digital camcorder. We’ve addressed this.  Also, while the support for video from some digital cameras worked great, we also got feedback about supporting a broader set of devices out of the box.  We’ve since added support for Windows Media Player to natively support the .MOV files used to capture video for many common digital cameras. 

22. Cleaner Now Playing view

Customers are sharing positive reviews of Media Player’s new light-weight Now Playing view. Still some have asked to make the experience even cleaner. We’ve responded with a visual update that is more lightweight and compact.

23. Filtering content that cannot be played

Media Player’s library view is designed to surface and showcase one’s content. However, in some cases items were displayed that couldn’t be played. For example, Apple’s lossless .M4A or .H263 MPEG-4 content would be shown in a library even though Media Player could not play them. In RC, this content will no longer appear in the library view so that there is better expectation of what is supported by the player.

24. Resume from sleep

Customers are used to resuming a CD or DVD after an interruption.  With customers choosing new low-cost, smaller form-factor, machines without optical drives, an increasingly popular scenario is to have content played directly from the hard drive. In Beta, it was not possible to resume playback on such content after a laptop goes to sleep. Customers assume the experience should match that of physical media so we fixed the experience to meet this expectation.

25. Quieting Windows Media Player sync relationships

When Media Player is open and a portable media player or a USB drive is inserted, we trigger a dialog to determine whether a sync relationship should be created with the new device. Our original goal was to be proactive and help customers make a decision in context, but we received comments that this experience is jarring. As a result, we will no longer interrupt when the player is running. This is consistent with our “customer in control” goal of Windows 7 and we trust people can manually configure this should they wish to.

26. Easier access to advanced settings

What enthusiast doesn’t want to tweak her player settings? This was echoed by several comments so we’ve made it easier to access and adjust settings. The equalizer, play speed, SRS WOW and other options are now surfaced via the Now Playing context menu under Enhancements.

27. Jump List improvement

Media Player’s Jump List provides quick access to the content customers consume. The list becomes even more powerful and complete in the RC now that we also include items launched from Explorer.

Device Stage

28. Enriching the Device Stage ecosystem

Customers have been so positive about the new Device Stage experience, one of the biggest pieces of feedback we got was “Why aren’t even more of my devices supported?”  We’ve taken that feedback to heart and then took the feedback to our IHV and OEM partners to get their support for more devices.  Our hardware partners in turn asked us to make it easier to integrate with the Device Stage and we worked with them on improvements.  Although Windows already supports tens of thousands of devices, customer feedback on the Beta introduces even more device support in RC via the new Device Stage experience.

Sound UX

29. Improving the headphone experience

Customers informed us that sometimes their audio streams did not properly move from the default speakers to their headphones. The fix required an update to the algorithm we use to detect new devices. In RC the transition works more reliably.

30. Increased audio reliability

In some cases people reported not having any audio device after installing Beta. The problem is that some audio hardware does not work out of the box with our inbox audio class driver. Amazingly there are over 26,000 custom audio drivers and while many are on Windows Update, many are still not. The Release Candidate tightens the Windows Logo test to better ensure clean install delivers baseline functionality for speakers and microphones. Furthermore, we will continue to populate Windows Update with frequently needed drivers.

Windows Explorer and Libraries

31. Improved header

It is great to see customers realize the convenience and power of libraries. Having files aggregated into one convenient view, without worrying where they are all physically located, simplifies many scenarios. The library header in Beta showed only a static string that reflected how many locations were represented as part of the library. We heard feedback that this wasn’t very clear and more importantly, customers preferred to have more information so that they could be better orientated themselves. The RC will introduce a new header that updates to reveal the subfolder as one browses a library. Furthermore, the “Arrange by” views are better expose in the upper right, in proximity of the other view and search controls.

32. Reduced confusion with drag/drop

The Release Candidate will remove the ability to drag/drop a folder into the Libraries node in the Explorer navigation pane. We know some liked this functionality to create a new library, but it also presented some serious design issues. For example, some were surprised to find a new library was created when their intent was to simply copy the folder. More seriously though, there were circumstances where people then deleted the original folder thinking it was already copied. Data loss is a grave concern of ours and we don’t want customers to suffer from such a mistake. Don’t worry though—one can still easily create a new library using the “New Library” or “Include in Library” commands in the Explorer command bar.

33. Reviving familiar entry points

Mando writes, “In Win7 the Win+E shortcut opens an explorer window but the path is “Libraries” instead (which isn’t where I want to go most of the time). Is there a way to configure the target folder of “Win+E” or is there an alternate shortcut that will get me to the “Computer” path like it did in Vista?” RC reverts the behavior and now the shortcut will launch the “Computer” Explorer. Also, we changed the link in Start Menu -> Username to match the Vista behavior.

34. FAT32 support

Local FAT32 hard disk drives were not support in libraries for Beta.   RC libraries will now support non-removable FAT32 and NTFS hard disk drives thanks to the feedback we received. 

35. Arrangement view enhancements

It’s been great to see people’s reaction to the arrangement views in libraries.  Being able to browse using metadata certainly makes quick work of finding files.  We’ve received many requests to further enhance the arrangement views in a variety of ways and we’ve made a number of changes in response to them.  For starters, RC makes it easier to switch arrangement views—one can now do so directly from the view context menu, which is the familiar home of switching the view mode, sorting, and grouping.  Second, the specific arrangement views themselves have been enhanced for RC.  The “Month” and “Day” views in the Pictures library now group together both the pictures and videos taken on the same date, whereas previously the videos were split out into a separate group.  The “Artist” and “Genre” views in the Music library now show the thumbnails for up to three unique albums per artist or genre instead of typically just one in Beta.  The Videos library now features a Length view that lets customers split out the shorter clips from longer movies in their video collection.  Finally, we’ve made it so that changing the grouping of the Folder view in a library is now remembered just like other arrangement view customization. People who prefer to see their files grouped a particular way no longer have to reset the grouping each time.


36. Improving performance through data

Feedback comes to us in many different forms. Typically it consists of comments customers share. However, some of the most valuable information actually comes to us automatically when people just use Windows. PerfTrack, for example, is a telemetry system that provides us with invaluable real-world performance data on over 500 different Windows scenarios. The exciting aspect of PerfTrack is that it represents what people are really experiencing “out in the wild”. Performance is a very important to both the engineering team as well as to our customers and we strive to continuously improve this area. The topic has been discussed in several posts on this blog.

Let’s look at just one example of a Windows scenario that was improved with the help of PerfTrack. The two graphs below show the performance of opening the Start Menu for both Beta and for a more recent version of Windows 7. Some caveats first—the sample sizes are different (after all Beta did go to a far wider audience) and these numbers shouldn’t be taken too literally since they really do just represent a snapshot. The different colors denote performance against the “interaction class”—the acceptable experience range defined by each feature team. In this case we want the Start Menu to appear within 50ms to 100ms. A trace capturing tool running on each machine lets us investigate and fix what may be impacting performance. The charts shows in Beta 85% of interactions were within the acceptable range (i.e. green or yellow, but not red). After examining the traces and making some optimizations, we find 92% of interactions are this range for a more recent build.

Fig 3.

Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta)

Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta)

Fig 4.

Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7033

Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7033

As is evident from this sample of changes, we’ve been very busy improving Windows 7 based upon what our customers are telling us in many forums.

- Chaitanya Sareen

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 2 and 8 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Dear windows 7 team !!!  

    This is my actually hardware configuration , I have 2 PC Desktop ,  that  I use for my job ;

    I use both two PC Desktop because I work with Graphic Professional 2d and 3d Applications , this is list of software that I use in my job:

    ( Adobe Suite__Maxon  Cinema 4d__Luxology  Modo__Newtek Lightwave 9.5__Rhinoceros 3d  4.0 ).

    Primary  PC

    1- Cpu : Intel Core 2 Quad Q 9450

    2-Graphic Card : Ati Radeon Hd 4870

    3-Ram : 8Gb ddr2    in 4 module of 2 GB everyone

    4-Hard-Disk : 2  Hitachi Dekstar  500 GB  in Raid 0  configuration

    Second  PC :

    1-Cpu : Intel Core i7  920

    2-Graphic card: Nvidia  Geforce 285 GTX

    3-Ram:  8gb ddr3  in 4 module of 2 GB everyone

    4-Hard-Disk : 2  Hitachi Dekstar  500 GB  in Raid 0  configuration

    On both two PC , I use Windows 7 64 bit  Beta 7000 and I now report you Bugs and imperfections that you must resolve AND FIX in windows 7  64 bit  Release Candidate  Build :

    Fix  these bugs and imperfections  , present in windows 7 64 bit  beta 7000 in various areas:

    Aero Interface:

    Do You must fix totally  Lag , latency and slow visualization  of preview of opened applications

    ( overall Video preview ) , that they do not visualize and follow in real time , the advances of opened same  applications on the screen !!!

    Fix  bug  of Aero Interface, that it often drive crazy ;  it is a bug much boring , that  ago windows7 operating system an instrument much difficult to manage in daily use ,  when the bug is present.

    ( I remember you that this bug is present also in windows vista operating system and that it is not also fixed in Windows 7  Beta 7000).

    I describe the bug :

    When I simple make only  one click of the mouse on top border of any open window , in order to move it, it become crazy  opening itself  to  max screen !!!

    While  , normally do you knowledge that  it's necessary a double click on top  border of same window , for open it on max screen!!!!

    Same bad bug , it is present  when  I  Iconize window .

    When exactly I click with mouse for iconize window on Taskbar of windows 7 , the same window become crazy , returning opened on the screen automatically , without that I make nothing.

    Same bad bug , of drive crazy of aero interface, is present on icons desktop :

    Often , simple with only one click on the any icon's desktop , wanting simply to move the icon on desktop, the same icon  become crazy ,  open it the relative one  application , on desktop , while you knowledge that  it is necessary a double click of the mouse on same icon , for open the one relative  application.

    ( This bug it present with all type of icon's applications , that it can be for example, Mozilla Firefox , icons of web link of Mozilla Firefox  , icons of Office Word , icons of office Power point , icons of documents created with Word or Power Point or Excel , icons of file created with other 2d or 3d applications that I Use and in the end the same icons of any  applications , etc.....etc....etc......).

    Well , in other words, do you must find the cause of these bugs of Aero Interface Areas and  FIX THE CAUSE  OF ALL THESE BUGS and same bugs   ,  OF DRIVE CRAZY  AERO INTERFACE !!!!!

    IT'S  ALSO PRESENTS IN WINDOWS    7    BETA    7000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FIX IT , FOR GOD  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!












  • Some wishes and hopes for RTM:

    - Explorer: Option to turn off autorefresh-autosorting-autoarranging of files and folders. XP-like, please!

    - Explorer: Option to turn off folder-type-auto-sense. I'm not the only one who loves the plain, detailed view. Everywhere.

    - Task bar/Systray: Useful network icon activity indicator must return - like XP/2k, just better! Vista's a toy.

    - Task bar/Systray: Real quick access to network connection settings wanted!

    --> (Rightclick on network systray icon > Manage connections) == (Start > Control Panel > ...)

    --> (Rightclick on network systray icon > Status of [link/adapter name])

    Otherwise: Great job, 7 Team!

  • Like so many others, I dislike Vista, and still use XP. My customers like XP and dislike Vista. So I am not the only one, in fact millions of people dislike Vista (and you must be very well aware of this by now). So I was very curious to see if W7 was an improvement.

    Imo it is, congratulations!

    But.. There are four things I realy hate in W7:

    1: Lack of the no-nonsense classic start menu. Why? Because the classic menu imo is easier to handle. It's my opinion, I don't want to shove it through your throat.

    2: Missing the classical start menu. Why? Because it doesn't do a peek-a-boo game with me. MS, you don't have to agree on me with this, it's an opinion.

    3: The absense of the classic start menu. Why: Because I like my start menu organised the way I see fit. MS, you don't have to agree on me with this, it's an opinion.

    4: The classic start menu is gone. Why? Because MS doesn't agree on me with this and likes to shove there perception of a good start menu through my throat?

    Please MS, don't be that arrogant, give me (and so many many others) at least a choice.

  • Hi,

    I use the WPSM54G printer server, from Linksys and it always worked really well with my Vista 32 desktop, my XP netbook and my wife's vista 32 notebook.

    since I installed Windows 7 x64 I was not able to install Linksys software. searching on the web I found out that this problem was related to the Windows x64 OSes not providing support to virtual SUB ports.

    it's necessary to enable access to all functionalities of my All-in-one HP Printer.

    is it possible that Microsoft will solve this issue, or the structure os the OS isn't able to handle the Virtual USB driver?

  • so that adding capacity doesn't require major upheavals with existing content.

    Also. Add the capability to follow shortcuts (to folders) within Music/Video/Pictures. (perhaps with an upper limit to prevent circular/inifinite searching)

    Categorize artist/album by folder hierarchy for non-microsoft audio & video formats. Currently they're all lumped together under 'unknown' artist. Not exactly helpful for finding a track from 1,000s of tracks under one category.

  • It would be a very effcient feature in windows 7 if the os would remember the arrangement of the desktop icons, when switching back from a different resolution (e.g. when having finished a ppt presentation with low resoltion for the beamer.

    Coming back to the "working" resolution should   arrange the desktop icons like they where before switching to a lower resolution....

  • See subject-line above:

    I have YET to see a valid technical response from anyone online, be they Microsoft networking personnel (or otherwise) as to:


    1.) Why HOSTS files in VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 cannot use the more efficient on disk smaller 0 blocking IP address

    (vs. the larger & slower to load loopback adapter, or the slightly less efficient, for stopping known bad site access)




    2.) Why the GUI front-end for PORT FILTERING has been removed in VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7... or, rather, moved to the Advanced section of Windows Firewall controls.

    (&, the reasoning from the VISTA resource kit is poor in this regards, because removing the PORT FILTERING gui control feature ONLY doesn't prevent the other 2-3 methods of layered security from working WITH (or against) one another, as the reasoning was stated)


    Removing the PORT FILTER 3 part design (not just the Local Connection gui control layer of security) is a BAD MOVE, imo, & for the SAME REASON "zone defenses" are usually better than "man-to-man" ones in sports!

    Now - the reasoning given by the VISTA reskit was that removing it was because none of the methods in software firewalls, IP Security Policies, Port Filtering & even RRAS methods do not "automatically sync" w/ one another...

    WELL - so what?

    I say that, because this actually WORKS IN FAVOR of "layered security", because if 1 of them goes down (or, is taken down, which is what malware often seek to do, say, in the case of software firewalls), the other layered security methods are in the way...

    This is much like folks using deadbolt locks, door handle locks, & chain locks on the doors of their homes - break 1? The others still function to stop intruders.

    Nobody seems to be answering why this was done, especially in favor of BOTH of the above points, as to WHY it was done... could it be MS has made a mistake here, & is unwilling to admit it publicly?

    Until I see a SOLID, LOGICAL TECHNICAL REASON for both of the above occurring, because I have not to date, @ this poin, from YOU folks @ MS, or from others interested in the area of TCP/IP networking online?

    I am leaning to my conclusion here - MS has messed up...


    P.S.=> Following up on what I wrote up above!

    (That's so others here have some documentation from Microsoft themselves, & especially in regards to the differences in HOW their security works now)

    Thus, I'll now note how:


    1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

    2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...


    First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in:

    The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths


    The following components process IP packets:

    IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

    TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

    Filter-hook driver A Windows component that uses the filter-hook API to filter incoming and outgoing IP packets. On a computer running Windows Server 2003, the filter-hook driver is Ipfltdrv.sys, a component of Routing and Remote Access. When enabled, Routing and Remote Access allows you to configure separate inbound and outbound IP packet filters for each interface using the Routing and Remote Access snap-in. Ipfltdrv.sys examines both local host and transit IP traffic (packets not destined for the host).

    Firewall-hook driver A Windows component that uses the firewall-hook API to examine incoming and outgoing packets. On a computer running Windows XP, the firewall-hook driver is Ipnat.sys, which is shared by both Internet Connection Sharing and Windows Firewall. Internet Connection Sharing is a basic network address translator (NAT). Windows Firewall is a stateful host-based firewall. Ipnat.sys examines both local host and transit IP traffic. On a computer running Windows Server 2003, Ipnat.sys is shared by Internet Connection Sharing, Windows Firewall, and the NAT/Basic Firewall component of Routing and Remote Access. If the NAT/Basic Firewall component of Routing and Remote Access is enabled, you cannot also enable Windows Firewall or Internet Connection Sharing.

    IPsec The IPsec component, Ipsec.sys, is the implementation of IPsec in Windows to provide cryptographic protection to IP traffic. Ipsec.sys examines both local host and transit IP traffic and can permit, block, or secure traffic.


    1.) After receiving the IP packet, Tcpip.sys passes it to Ipsec.sys for processing.

    If the packet has IPsec protection (the IP Protocol field value indicates either Authentication Header [AH] or Encapsulating Security Payload [ESP]), it is processed and removed. If the Windows Firewall: Allow authenticated IPSec bypass Group Policy setting applies to the computer, Ipsec.sys sets an IPsec Bypass flag associated with the packet. Ipsec.sys passes the resulting packet back to Tcpip.sys.

    If the packet does not have IPsec protection, based on the set of IPsec filters, Ipsec.sys determines whether the packet is permitted, blocked, or requires security. If permitted, Ipsec.sys passes the packet back to Tcpip.sys without modification. If the packet is blocked or requires security, Ipsec.sys silently discards the packet.

    2.) Tcpip.sys passes the packet to Ipfltdrv.sys for processing.

    Based on the interface on which the packet was received, Ipfltdrv.sys compares the packet to the configured inbound IP packet filters.

    If the inbound IP packet filters do not allow the packet, Ipfltdrv.sys silently discards the packet. If the inbound IP packet filters allow the packet, Ipfltdrv.sys passes the packet back to Tcpip.sys.

    3.) Tcpip.sys passes the packet to Ipnat.sys for processing.

    If Internet Connection Sharing or the NAT/Basic Firewall is enabled and the interface on which the packet was received is the public interface connected to the Internet, Ipnat.sys compares the packet to its NAT translation table. If an entry is found, the IP packet is translated and the resulting packet is treated as source traffic.

    Windows Firewall checks the IPsec Bypass flag associated with the packet. If the IPsec Bypass flag is set, Windows Firewall passes the packet back to Tcpip.sys.

    If the IPsec Bypass flag is not set, Windows Firewall compares the packet to its exceptions list. If the packet matches an exception, Ipnat.sys passes the IP packet back to Tcpip.sys. If the IP packet does not match an exception, Ipnat.sys silently discards the IP packet.

    Tcpip.sys compares the IP packet to the configured set of allowed packets for TCP/IP filtering.

    If TCP/IP filtering does not allow the packet, Tcpip.sys silently discards the packet. If TCP/IP filtering allows the packet, Tcpip.sys continues processing the packet, eventually passing the packet payload to TCP, UDP, or other upper layer protocols.


    NOW, the new method, "WFP", used by Windows VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & the upcoming Windows 7:


    "The IPsec Policy Agent service and Windows Firewall are examples of WFP applications that are included with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008"


    "Because all the applications and services use the same filtering engine, it is easier to determine whether other applications or services exist that perform the same function."

    (JUST A SINGLE LAYER/LEVEL OF WORK, instead of 3 discrete-separate ones)


    SO - what is the "problem" I have with this NEW method?

    (That yes, does seem to "sync" what was 'out-of-sync' in older Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, but, what I felt was a STRENGTH of that, & NOT a weakness)



    (I.E.=> ONLY 1 THING TO "TAKE OUT" vs. 3 like before... actually making it EASIER to attack because of this!).

    The HOSTS file issue I note above? I have NO DOUBT on that one... but, I'd like to see the reasoning for PORT FILTERING being changed the most though! Thanks for your time... apk

  • I don't have Windows 7 installed but really hope you have improved the network portability from Vista.  While Vista gave us locations, proxy settings aren't linked to them.  When I connect to my work network I want the automatic URL configuration to be chosen, when almost anywhere else I want no proxy.  It would be great if this could be automated rather than having to go through a set of menus to change it every time.


  • Everything think is getting better and better every minute. I would like to Praise Windows 7 Team for their untiring Job they do every second.

    I would suggest resource management for Anti-virus Programs and other Heavy resource Applications.

    I thank one and all for their Good Work.

    Your Computer Enthusiast,


  • Is it possible turn off Aero Peek only in Windows Flip (ALT + TAB)? or change it timeout? This feature was a bad idea :) Good only on the paper ;) In real world - bad.

  • I will add my vote to old style sidebar

    I have a wide screen monitor and old style sidebar could allow me to look at all my gadgets - three clocks, indexer status , etc at once.

    there are already

    Yeah, new gagets rock, but some people like old style too :))

  • I got used to the sidebar and have several gadgets that should be visible all the time, e.g. the wp-corp email-checker.

    I can hack-in the old sidebar, but some gadgets refuse to work properly with this hack

    So please - give us a fully functional sidebar back!

    I also like the good-old taskbar and quicklaunch bar. OK, you can hack them in easily, but why not just giving the user an option for this?

    BTW, since the RC, windows "forgets" my quicklaunch bar everytime it reboots ;-(

  • Please, bring back the WMP Mini player, on the taskbar. It would look great on the new windows taskbar, and is the best thing about WMP. Bring it back, please.

  • It will be nice to have Virtual Desktops to have faster acces to the applicattions.

    Maybe you can simulate it by given us the posibility to group some aplications like if we are moving it to another desktop, and with the tab function will be easier and faster no get the window we want.

    And shortcut for the function "Show windows side by side" and an improvement of this will be really nice. This function is only accesible right cliking on the taskbar.

  • hitman721 said the classic start menu is from 1995, my opinion and the one of many, many people is that the vista one isn't easy enough to use compared to the xp one... why don't they keep the one between witch was so nice and so much user friendly?? that would be logical thing? wouldn't it?

    second thought I'm really not a fan of the grouping and pinning on the taskbar, what's the point of grouping when all applications that needs multiple windows work with tabs? I liked the quick launch but pinning applications is just confusing when you try to look at what is open and what's not, besides it just populates your taskbar for absolutely nothing. fortunatly you don't have to use it, if you don't wan't to

    third tought- multiple virtual desktops would be a must have in this one, I know that video card manufacturers are working on it but it would be better if it was built in windows

    I think the 2 firsts by themselves are a good reason not to upgrade from xp

    note: I didnt have a deep look at rc1 yet so I'll bring some more feedback later

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