It’s great to see Windows 7 Beta finally released to the world! We're very proud of what has been accomplished over the last months; in many ways, it sets a new quality bar for a beta operating system release. Building on top of the Windows Vista foundation, Windows 7 adds a great deal of polish and refinement to both the user interface and the underlying architecture, while at the same time introducing many new features and improvements that support new hardware, give power users and casual users alike better tools to manage their digital lives, and enable new classes of application experience.
Over future blog entries, I’ll spend time drilling into some of those areas in more detail; of course, there are plenty of articles already out there that dissect Windows 7 in some depth, with the Windows SuperSite and Ars Technica providing notably comprehensive entries. I’d also like to draw particular attention to the series of Windows 7 interviews that Yochay Kiriaty has been posting on Channel 9, which give the inside scoop on the development of many of the most significant new features.
For now, though, I want to focus in on some of “secrets” of Windows 7: the many little tweaks and enhancements that we’ve made in this release that I’ve discovered and collated over the last few months of using Windows 7 across my home and work machines. These are the things that are too small to appear in any marketing document as “features”, but that you quickly miss when you switch to an older version of Windows. There are some who think that we’re arbitrarily hiding functionality to make Windows easy for casual users, but I’d argue that a great deal of effort has been put into this release to satisfy power users. In homage to those of us who enjoy discovering the nooks and crannies of a new operating system list, I’ve put together the longest blog post that I’ve ever written. If you’ve downloaded and installed Windows 7 Beta recently, I think you’ll enjoy this list of my thirty favorite secrets. Have fun!
This side-by-side docking feature is particularly invaluable on widescreen monitors – it makes the old Windows way of shift-clicking on two items in the taskbar and then using the context menu to arrange them feel really painful.
If it’s not obvious by the semi-tortuous steps above, it’s worth noting that this isn’t something we’re exactly desperate for folks to re-enable, but it’s there if you really need it for some reason. Incidentally, we’d love you to really try the new model first and give us feedback on why you felt the new taskbar didn’t suit your needs.
as for tip #22... I've always hidden the taskbar... so it's indiferent if it is in the bottom or on the side...
Once I installed Beta Windows Seven. I just couldnt believe it so simple and great to work/play with just like the Windows XP. I just complete delete entire Vista which I dearly despite. So now offical I'm using Beta Windows Seven 32 and 64 Bit on my split partition. Once again I'm enjoying the computer all over again. I just hope it will have success in future,
Thank goodness I have my Quicklaunch Toolbar back!! Thank you :)
Have you tried dragging a maximzed Word 2007 (or PP 2007) window in Windows 2007
does not work for me !!
Yes, please give us "Mount ISO" in the Windows 7 RTM!
I had already figured out how to bring back the quick launch bar but I can't seem to drag it and dock to either side of the screen.
Pinning apps to the task bar is great but only for those that you use frequently, I commonly have over 20+ apps in the quick launch so it just wouldn't make sense (or even physically fit) along with the task bar.
Being able to move it to the side is one of the only things that I have missed in Windows 7.
The only other thing is being able to select the classic Start Menu, I much prefer the cascading menu rather than the in-place navigation.
Great list of "secrets" though, some new ones for me there.
I'm a web/database programmer. I don't want a bunch of pretty screen real estate hogging pop-ups, tip bars, info gizmos extra information and ways to search through the dozen windows I have open. If one is halfway competant, the tools available in many of the earlier Windows products already do that.
I don't want to drill down through a half dozen directories to find "My" this and "My" that. I want to set up explorer to go directly to a director (not "My" folder) and show me a list of files with extensions and details. If file extensions were the default, it would put half the malware makers out of business. Instead we have all these people double clicking partial file names and hoping for the best.
Every version of Windows comes with more wasted screen space, more flashy distracting gizmos, and useless tools that help the intellectually challenged stumble around in magic mushroom land trying to find the latest file they lost and come up with something mind blowing to do with it.
If I wasn't such an old fart I'd learn a new platform, but in the mean time, I'm encouraging all my IT students to start down another path if they actually want to create systems that help business and government store and manage data.
Vista is viewed by every results oriented developer and information worker I know as a bloated, time wasting pig. I was hoping MS would turn that around, but it looks like W7 is just a bug fix version of Vista.
Hopefully installing this week, and moving to 64 bit (at long last).
Great list - I am always on the lookout for keyboard shortcuts, and lesser-known functionality. I keep forgetting how the win-x key for the mobility centre gives that presentation mode option on Vista and doing stuff the long way round.
What's with the whining comments about how late this is for an ISO burner from MS? You can use cdburn or dvdburn from the command prompt with a free utility from the Windows 2003 (yes, more than five years ago) resource kit. Works fine on XP and Vista (and 2003 of course). So they only just put a GUI on it. Big deal. If you know what an ISO is and why you might want to burn one, I hope you can use a command line.
Now - mounting, I agree, is overdue.
Anyone not quite ready for the upgrade who wants the window-docking functionality should check out GridMove (originally suggested on donation coder here: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=3824 ). I use this withe several custom grids for checking web designs in different resolutions, as well as docking windows around my 24" widescreen.
I used your suggestion to make the windows explorer start with the computer drives. But now when I click on a drive to access the folders, it opens in a new window. I have the folder options set to open in same windows. Is there a way to stop this that you can share? Thanks in advance...
After posting the last thing I did I found this in the blog comments. Shoulda looked before I jumped eh? Thanks for this:
24- Starting Explorer from “My Computer”, your target:
will make explorer open folders/drives in new windows instead of the current window open.
this target will fix it:
Thanks! I showed my Linux friend the world of Windows 7 with the help of this blog. It shows a lot of hidden and useful features of 7.
I'm so happy with the beta. Running Windows 7 'in anger' at home and at work now and aside from client support, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, is going to be a complete non event for me. Please, MS, get '7 out in 2009!
Oh - and Kanten's idea to have Sticky Notes become a desktop gadget so we we can peek at them using Win+SPACE is brilliant.
Its nice to know this stuff. I have to say Windows 7 seems very mature for a beta, may be incorrect as I am a first time beta tester for operating systems. These little features as mentioned are growing on me. I currently dual boot between Windows 7 and Vista but I find myself using 7 more and more. Most of the things listed were features I didn't even know existed.
This comment was written while running Windows 7 Beta.
You can open multiple instances of windows explorer as long as you don't have the default folder already open. eg. the library.
All you have to do is browse to another folder then middle click on explorer or win+E and wallah.
Interesting info for those among you who use Windows 7 Beta and…while talking about Window 7 Beta…I have