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.
Great tips, already proving useful. I installed Windows 7 over the weekend and have been slowly reinstalling my applications, so far my experience has been very nice. (I've been blogging my progress reports).
I do have to agree with Marc Brooks though, when are you going to get native support for mounting an ISO file? With all the ISOs you distribute via MSDN/TechNet, I'd think it'd be a natural.
Sure, I understand the average consumer or business user doesn't particularly need the functionality, but with the plethora of 3rd party ISO mounters out there it can't be that hard to do, and seems like it'd be worth it even just for your internal use.
Heck you wouldn't even have to integrate it into or ship it with the OS, just release a ISO mounter yourself, maybe one with basic functionality so 3rd party vendors could still add value.
But still can't create an ISO file ?
WOW ! I really see some WOW for Windows now !
Great artcle !
Great list of tips. I've definitely bookmarked this page.
Will be glad when the beta fish is gone. Fish freak me out and I didn't enjoy seeing it on my desktop. ;)
I didn't know few things.Fine, but you can get a detailed working How to install Windows 7 using USB drive in the below link:
The "Betta Fish".
This is a "beta" version. Nice.
I completely missed the ISO burner, and the [windows button] + arrow keys functionality, thanks!
Don't forget about the [windows button] + the number of the icon in your taskbar counted from the left to run/open/reopen the program
The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), also known as the "betta fish" or just "betta".
Hey, I got my quick launch back! And maybe I'll try side docking again (but right hand side for us lefties :) Thanks for the awesome tips!
The fish was a nice touch. I wonder if the analogy can be taken a step further - if you install two Windows7 instances on the same box will they fight to the death?
"So long and thanks for all the fish"
i think its the entire latin name "Betta splendens".
just because on channel 9 they were saying this is one of the best windows betas they have ever made (stability and feature completeness wise) hence splendens / splendid.
It’s great to see Windows 7 Beta finally released to the world! We're very proud of what has been
i agree with ISO mounting, but i would also like to see a more accessible way to mount and work with VHD files too.
currently only an admin can mount and access a VHD and it can only be mounted via Disk Management.
it would be super cool if one could say right-click an ISO or a VHD and choose Mount from the shortcut menu. killer!
of course other utilities like Daemon Tools would still be best at supporting a wider range of images but at least for VHD, it would be nice if you could download an ISO and mount it to install as opposed to having to burn it to a physical disc.
likewise, mounting a VHD backup to grab that one document would be a time saver, since one wouldn't have to switch user to mount and access the VHD just to get at that old presentation.
Thanks for the tips. I have used the Quick Launch bar for as long as I can remember, and am glad to see I can bring it back. I also like having certain apps minimize to the system tray. What I like about both of those is the ability to keeps things ordered. I keep common icons in Quick Launch, less common ones pinned to Start, and minimize some to system tray to keep the clutter out of the taskbar but still have those programs running (Mail, Outlook, Messenger, uTorrent, etc). I feel that by bringing everything out onto the taskbar, it makes for more clutter and less organization. Frankly, that is why I don't like the Mac OS X Dock (though the W7 taskbar is far superior to the Dock if you ask me). Being able to move things around on the taskbar is nice, but it doesn't solve the clutter problem without frequently reorganizing the taskbar. For me, that's a step back from Vista. On option to automatically reorganize the taskbar as apps are opened and closed (open apps to the right, closed to the left) would be nice.
right click on the taskbar icon, right click on windows explorer, add "space [drive letter]:" to the target box to start in a specific drive.