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What’s new in Windows 7?

Microsoft has announced an October release date for it’s new operating system, Windows 7, to the public. However it has been around for many months now for ‘beta testing’ and we have been trailing it for a while now to see if it is really cracked up to all it is hyped to be. If you haven’t yet seen Windows Vista then the jump from XP will be quite a change.

There is far too much to cover in a single blog post so initially we’ll run down the main features of Windows 7 and explore them in more detail in future posts.

There are tons of new features in Windows 7, most of which you really won’t care about, but the following are the new features of Windows for the masses:

  • Improved performance – It is claimed that Windows 7 is on par with XP in terms of speed and resource requirements which really is quite a huge point. XP was released in 2002 and usually the release of a new operating system entails either an upgrade of hardware or a new computer altogether in order to handle the new system. However this time you may not need to, your old computer should be able to run the new operating system without being upgraded. There is one major hurdle though – you need drivers for every component in your computer and in some cases there may not be any available in which case you may need new parts.
  • Windows XP mode – You can run Windows XP programs on your computer even if they don’t work on Windows 7.
  • Speed of use – Microsoft have tried to speed up every day use of your computer by making regular tasks more simple to complete. There are loads of features that they have packed in such as an improved task bar, jump lists, Windows search (all described below) and Desktop enhancements.
  • Improved taskbar – You can pin the most frequently used programs to the taskbar (much like you already do now) meaning they are only a click away. Hover over the icons and you’ll see thumbnails of every file or window that open in that program, allowing you to quickly and easily switch between windows.
  • Jump lists – Right click on an icon and Windows will give you a list of frequent tasks for that application for example a list of previously open files or viewed web pages. In the case of a program such as media player, you will have the option to resume playback of a song you were previously listening to or play your favourite playlist without having to open the program first and navigate through. You have the ability to customise these tasks making your life much easier.
  • Windows search – Introduced in Windows Vista, this is basically a search for everything on your computer. Be it a file, email or application, you can search for anything on your computer and Windows will return a list of results matching your search term. This is very powerful as you no longer have to remember where things are saved, just fill in the search and it will be found.

There are many more features that Window 7 offers and we will cover these in more detail in later posts but these are the main points you can expect to benefit from.

If you buy a new computer between now and the October release date, you will receive a voucher for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out so there is no real need to wait until October before purchasing a new computer.

Rob Leverton

Rob has worked as an IT technician and project manager with Connexion for 14 years before moving into his current role as head of the technical services team.

Although Rob comes from a technical background he’s very much a people person and he is exceptionally good at building excellent working relationships with our customers and his technical team to deliver service excellence to our clients.

Rob Leverton

James Stratton

James is passionate about technology and how it can transform business.  Having worked with hundreds of businesses in many different sectors over the last 25 years he has a huge amount of business IT knowledge that he enjoys imparting to Connexions customers.

James is responsible for Connexions strategic development and also still enjoys a role in consulting and sales and marketing