Microsoft Details 36 Changes between Windows 7 Beta and RC

Based on all the user feedback ignited by the Windows 7 beta, Microsoft has made a set of tweaks to the release candidate of Windows 7. The Engineering 7 weblog details 36 of those tweaks, in quite some detail actually. Let’s take a look at some interesting ones.

The Aero Peek feature has been received quite positively, as it really can be quite useful when working with lots and lots of windows. It reminds me a lot of Expose – not in how it works, but in how useful it is. When I first heard about Expose, my reaction was “meh”. It felt like useless eye candy for Apple Store owners. However, as soon as you started using Expose, it became clear it’s a massively useful feature, and I still consider it one of the best additions to window management since, like, forever. Aero Peek falls in the same category: looks gimmicky at first, but once you’re used to it, you don’t want to live without it. In the RC a much-requested addition has been made: Aero Peek can now also be triggered by the alt+tab switcher.

Another addition that really makes me happy (and I’m sure lots of other users as well), is the ability to drag/drop a file on a task bar item and have it open the dropped file in the program you dropped it on. For instance, if you have Notepad pinned to your taskbar, and you drop a html file on it, it will open that file in Notepad. This behaviour is not default, however; you need to press shift as a modifier. Still, a very welcome addition, as it allows for an easy way to open fiels with non-default applications.

In earlier Windows versions, the Win+e command launched an Explorer window located at My Computer. In the Windows 7 beta, this often-used command started in the Libraries view instead, which didn’t make an awful lot of sense for many people. In the RC, the behaviour is back to default: Win+E opens an Explorer window at My Computer(or Computer as it’s called these days).

A small but funny one: the on-screen keyboard now supports multitouch. In previous builds, the on-screen keyboard wasn’t multitouch aware, which kind of made typing rather weird. Now you can type with them as if it were a real keyboard (I’m not serious, of course; typing on a touch screen will always be cumbersome).

There’s more in the list, but they reiterate it’s just a selection.


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