Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Favorite Windows 7 Features


Windows 7 has been getting some good press.  I won’t lie.  I definitely like it.  I’ve upgraded 3 of my 4 primary working machines from Vista to Windows 7 Beta.  Two of those three machines are super powerful 4gb of RAM machines that ran Vista really, really fast.  They are even faster with Windows 7, and a clean install (I haven’t tried an upgrade yet) has all of the drivers detected, and there was very little thought on installing it. 

The 3rd machine that I installed Windows 7 on was actually a NetBook.  One of those new fancy machines that is ultra portable, designed for running a browser and not much else.  I have the Acer Aspire One, It ships with Windows XP Home edition installed on it.  I have to say when I first booted it up, I was thinking “Wow! I forgot how old Windows XP was!”.  Anyways, I backed it up via my HP Media Smart Server, attached a USB DVD drive with Win7 Beta in it, and hit GO!  It’s Blaaaaazing fast, and has all the drivers (minus the Wi-Fi driver) detected out of the box.  The good news is the Wi-Fi Driver is a known issue that should be fixed before RTM.  The other good news is installing the XP driver seems to work perfectly fine, and hey, it’s a beta anyways right?

Ok, so now for the part where I tell you my few favorite features, that drive me NUTS when they aren’t there on my last remaining Vista box:

  1. Win+P shortcut – This brings up the *built in* external monitor control applet, allowing you to choose how to present on your laptop, or just use the external monitor as an additional screen
  2. Libraries – built right into Windows Explorer, allow you to show more than one directory in the same view.  If you’re like me and store some documents on your Home Server, and some documents on your local PC, you wont’ be able to live without Libraries!  The local PC is the default save location, but you can choose any location you like. Here is a handy screenshot: libraries
  3. The new Windows Task bar – Place the icons in the quick launch where you want them.  Like Outlook for instance, I always like having it to the left most.  Now no matter what order I open programs in, Outlook is always on the most left, and if I close it, the quick-launch button is right there to re-open it.  And along with quick view, you really can’t go wrong.  I haven’t seen this thing not be snappy either! taskbar

I can’t wait to see what they do after the Beta!  And don’t forget, if you’re trying out the Beta, and you run out of time you can extend it a little bit, yes it works with Win7 too!


Anonymous said...

They said the Beta of Windows 7 doesn't expire until August 31 2009so are you saying that your command line trick will extend the date past this ?

Sean Daniel said...

Good Question. I installed the beta and the timeframe ran out, and I used this to extend it past today. There may be a harder block for August.