Windows IT Pro contributor J. Peter Bruzzese has contributed a series of 10 screencasts that highlight different aspects of Windows 7. Not everyone wants to play with beta software, so here's your chance to see what's coming.
Notable Features for IT Admins
Windows 7 includes a new version of PowerShell with the OS—you don't have to install it, and you can use PowerShell to remotely administer user machines. The new OS also has some new features that will come into play when used with Windows Server 2008 R2.
- Installation changes. Windows 7's installation process is similar to Windows Vista's, but there are some differences. Watch the install in action and also hear about Windows 7's system requirements.
- New Desktop Features.They might not be immediately visible, but there are plenty of differences between Windows 7 and Windows Vista once you get to the desktop. One new feature is Windows Gadgets, the replacement for Windows Sidebar. This video also shows Windows 7's integration with Windows Live Essentials.
- New Superbar and Aero Features.The "Superbar" replaces the taskbar that's been in Windows for years. The Superbar changes how applications are launched and displayed. The Aero Peek and Aero Snaps features are other new additions.
- Application Enhancements.Though fewer applications are included with Windows 7 than previous versions, those that remain such as Paint, WordPad, Calculator, and Sticky Notes have all been overhauled for the new OS.
- The Action Center and UAC Settings. The Action Center replaces Security Center and lets you change how User Account Control (UAC) behaves. Those who were irritated by UAC's behavior in Vista can look forward to more settings to customize UAC.
- Display and Device Improvements. In addition to more technical changes to how Windows 7 displays graphics on your monitors, the new OS offers more customization options to make your desktop look just how you want it to. The Devices and Printers Control Panel applet also boasts new abilities.
- New Networking Features. Windows 7 changes how you configure networks and offers a new networking option, HomeGroup, which makes common sharing tasks on a home network easier.
- Control Panel Applets. Control Panel gets a number of new Control Panel applets, including expanded BitLocker Drive Encryption capabilities. BitLocker is now capable of encrypting removable drives, keeping your USB drives safe. A new applet, Credential Manager, lets you store credentials for various websites and computers.
- Libraries and Searching. Windows 7 uses "libraries," which are virtual folders to store different types of information. You can keep, for example, your pictures in many different folders but they can all appear in your library.