Monday, May 25, 2009

Window 7 ready to release after Window vista

Windows 7 (formerly codenamed Blackcomb and Vienna) is an upcoming version of Microsoft Windows, a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, netbooks and media center PCs.[1] Microsoft has stated that it plans to release Windows 7, "in time for the holiday season" of 2009,[2] less than three years after the general availability of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2, is slated for release around the same time.

Unlike its predecessor, Windows 7 is intended to be an incremental upgrade to the Windows line, with the goal of being compatible with applications and hardware with which Windows Vista is already compatible.[3] Presentations given by the company in 2008 have focused on multi-touch support, a redesigned Windows Shell with a new taskbar, a home networking system called HomeGroup,[4] and performance improvements. Some applications that have been included with prior releases of Microsoft Windows, including Windows Calendar, Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery, will not be included in Windows 7; some will instead be offered separately as part of the freeware Windows Live Essentials suite.[5]

New and changed features

Windows 7 includes a number of new features, such as advances in touch and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, improved performance on multi-core processors,[29][30][31][32] improved boot performance, and kernel improvements. Windows 7 adds support for systems using multiple heterogeneous graphics cards from different vendors (Heterogeneous Multi-adapter), a new version of Windows Media Center,[33] a Gadget for Windows Media Center, improved media features, the XPS Essentials Pack and Windows PowerShell being included, and a redesigned Calculator with multiline capabilities including Programmer and Statistics modes along with unit conversion. Many new items have been added to the Control Panel, including ClearType Text Tuner, Display Color Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Recovery, Troubleshooting, Workspaces Center, Location and Other Sensors, Credential Manager, Biometric Devices, System Icons, and Display.[34] Windows Security Center has been renamed to Windows Action Center (Windows Health Center and Windows Solution Center in earlier builds) which encompasses both security and maintenance of the computer.

The taskbar has seen the biggest visual changes, where the Quick Launch toolbar has been replaced with pinning applications to the taskbar. Buttons for pinned applications are integrated with the task buttons. These buttons also enable the Jump Lists feature to allow easy access to common tasks.[35] The revamped taskbar also allows the reordering of taskbar buttons. To the far right of the system clock is a small rectangular button that serves as the Show desktop icon. This button is part of the new feature in Windows 7 called Aero Peek. Hovering over this button makes all visible windows transparent for a quick look at the desktop.[36] In touch-enabled displays such as touch screens, tablet PCs etc, this button is slightly wider to accommodate being pressed with a finger.[37] Clicking this button minimizes all windows, and clicking it a second time restores them. Additionally, when a user drags a window to the edge of the screen, it will snap in place on that half of the screen. This allows users to snap documents or files on either side of the screen to compare them. There is also a feature that when a user pulls a window to the top of the screen, it automatically maximizes. When a user moves windows that are maximized, the system restores them automatically.

This functionality is also accomplished with keyboard shortcuts. Holding down the Windows key and pressing the up arrow maximizes; pressing down the down arrow minimizes; pressing the left or right arrows snap the windows to the sides of the screen. Repeating the keyboard shortcuts generally restores the window's previous size. Unlike in Windows Vista, window borders and the taskbar do not turn opaque when a window is maximized with Windows Aero applied. Instead they remain transparent. For developers, Windows 7 includes a new networking API with support for building SOAP based web services in native code (as opposed to .NET based WCF web services),[38] new features to shorten application install times, reduced UAC prompts, simplified development of installation packages,[39] and improved globalization support through a new Extended Linguistic Services API.[40] At WinHEC 2008 Microsoft announced that color depths of 30-bit and 48-bit would be supported in Windows 7 along with the wide color gamut scRGB (which for HDMI 1.3 can be converted and output as xvYCC). The video modes supported in Windows 7 are 16-bit sRGB, 24-bit sRGB, 30-bit sRGB, 30-bit with extended color gamut sRGB, and 48-bit scRGB.[41][42] Microsoft is also implementing better support for Solid State Drives [43] and Windows 7 will be able to identify a Solid State Drive uniquely.

Internet Spades, Internet Backgammon and Internet Checkers, which were removed from Windows Vista, were restored in Windows 7. Windows 7 will include Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Media Player 12.

Users will also be able to disable many more Windows components than was possible in Windows Vista. New additions to this list of components include Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Windows Search, and the Windows Gadget Platform.[44] Windows 7 includes 13 additional sound schemes, entitled Afternoon, Calligraphy, Characters, Cityscape, delta, Festival, Garden, Heritage, Landscape, Quirky, Raga, Savanna, and Sonata.[45] A new version of Virtual PC, Windows Virtual PC Beta is available for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions.[46] It allows multiple Windows environments, including Windows XP Mode, to run on the same machine, requiring the use of Intel VT-x or AMD-V. Windows XP Mode runs Windows XP in a virtual machine and redirects displayed applications running in Windows XP to the Windows 7 desktop.[47]

Removed features

A number of capabilities and certain programs that were a part of Windows Vista are no longer present or have changed, resulting in the removal of certain functionality. Some notable Windows Vista features and components have been replaced or removed in Windows 7, including the classic Start Menu user interface, Windows Ultimate Extras, InkBall, and Windows Calendar. Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Mail have been removed from Windows itself, but they are available in a separate package called Windows Live Essentials.