A. The Windows Vista successor is marketed as the next major version of the client OS, however in reality it is essentially the Windows Vista code base with additional features that are described below. Because Windows 7 is largely Vista from a core perspective there should not be any application or driver compatibility issues for applications/drivers that are Vista compatible.
• Restyled boot screen
• Better first impression via an improved initial experience
• Ability to natively mount VHD files using the diskpart tool (which can also create VHD files)
• Native support for VHD virtual hard disk format, enabling Windows 7 to boot on physical hardware from a VHD file
• Reduced memory thumbprint and reduced disk I/O reads
• Enhanced power management capabilities
• Improvements to User Access Control (UAC) in the form of enhanced granularity of notifications
• PowerShell 2.0
• Desktop enhancements
- New thicker taskbar with improved notification area. Quick launch and taskbar are integrated so that the "quick launch" icon when selected opens the application and that same icon now represents the running application so hovering over it shows the live thumbnail. This reduces the number of icons needed on the desktop. Pop-ups now have a configuration option that shows the process generating the balloon and the option to never show pop-ups again for that process
- Removal of sidebar and the gadgets are now positioned all around the desktop
- Jumplists that are exposed by right-clicking an item, and the list of most recently accessed documents is displayed via the recent documents API. In addition, applications can be developed to customize what's displayed in the Jumplist. For example, you can display most frequent data or most recent data or even common tasks if data is not used by the application. You can view this whether the application is running or not.
- Taskbar controls that allow certain applications, such as Media Player, to be controlled via the taskbar thumbnail preview and you can close applications via the live thumbnail; this is known as a Thumbnail Toolbar
- Tab-aware applications such as Internet Explorer (IE) show all their tabs in the task bar thumbnail view
- Snap to side, which lets you tile windows by moving a window to the side of the screen and it snaps to that side of the screen. You can also maximize a windows by dragging its title bar to the top of the screen
- Peek into desktop, which makes all windows invisible allowing the desktop to be viewed. Or if you hover over a thumbnail in the task bar, the application window becomes visible and all other windows become invisible to quickly see just that application without actually switching context to the application
• Credential Manager control panel item for management of credentials used online
• Libraries functionality to allow better management of documents which replace the old Documents, Pictures etc shell folders
• Improved search which enables a search connector to be installed on clients to integrate repositories such as SharePoint as search targets from the client desktop. These search results are federated on the local machine, and the user can act on the results like they were all from the local file system. OpenSearch and RSS formatting are used by the search connectors, which means nearly any data repository can be Windows 7 search-federation-enabled with minimal work.
• Easy linking of multiple machines via HomeLink for sharing of media, which allows playing media from any machine in your home group
• Improved mobile device support
• Magnifier tool to magnify portions of the desktop
• Accelerators that allow fast access to certain options for selected text by saying commands into a microphone or select from the selected text context menu. For example, you can say "Share" or "Add to Calendar". You configure this via the Accelerators control panel applet
• Multi-touch support
• Windows Security Center is replaced with the Windows Solution Center, which brings additional settings such as NAP configuration, UAC, backup etc in addition to anti-virus, firewall, and update status into one place.
• Internet Explorer 8
• Windows Media Player 12
• New version of Windows Media Center with new visual style and customizable main menu
• Enhanced Paint, Wordpad and calculator tools
• Enhanced display management
• BitLocker improvements, including support for eSATA hard disks, USB hard and flash drives, and CompactFlash devices with BitLocker encryption
• DirectX 11, which would require a DirectX 11 driver to take advantage of the new capabilities. DirectX also now applies to 2D, animation and text
• Wi-Fi networking improvements, which lights up a notification tray icon when a wireless network is available. It then displays a pop-up of networks available for fast connection.
• Default Printer switchin, depending on whether your machine is on your home or work network
• True multimonitor support for Remote Desktop