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What's New in Windows 7

Although the general look of Windows 7 resembles Windows Vista, Windows 7 offers many new and improved features to make computing on any type of PC easier. Mark Edward Soper, author of Easy Microsoft Windows 7, walks you through some of these new features.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Microsoft Windows 7 is the seventh generation of the world’s most popular computer operating system. Although the general look of Windows 7 resembles Windows Vista, Windows 7 offers many new and improved features to make computing on any type of PC easier. Whether you use a laptop, desktop, or a standard or small-sized notebook computer, Windows 7 is designed to make life easier for you. From printing to working with photos and other types of media, from using the Internet to solving problems, Windows 7 provides you with tremendous new tools.

Getting Started

When you first start using Windows 7, the features you need are located in the Getting Started menu. Use this menu to learn more about Windows 7, personalize the operating system’s visual and audio features, transfer files from your old computer, add users, and more.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Getting Started.
  3. Select the option you want to use.

Aero Peek

Aero Peek enables you to instantly view the desktop without minimizing or closing programs. After you view the desktop, you can instantly bring program windows back to their original positions.

  1. Normal desktop with program windows open.
  2. Aero Peek displays transparent frames in place of program windows.

Aero Snap

Aero Snap enables you to control the window size and location of any program running on your desktop without lifting your hands off the keyboard. You can move a program window to the left or right of your desktop, maximize it, or minimize it.

  1. Program running in window.
  2. Aero Snap moves program window to right.


The new Libraries feature enables you to view the contents of all folders you use for a particular type of file by selecting the corresponding library link in the Start menu. For example, if you have digital photos in your Pictures folder as well as on an external hard disk and a network folder, adding the other locations to the Pictures library will enable you to view and work with all of your photos at the same time.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Select a library.
  3. The Pictures library arranged by date.
  4. A library can contain multiple locations (folders or drives).

Internet Explorer 8

Windows 7 includes Microsoft’s newest browser, Internet Explorer 8. Internet Explorer 8 makes surfing the web even easier with new features like suggested websites and an easy-to-access library of add-ons you can use to customize your web-browsing experience, such as a visual search for eBay items, various web radio add-ons, and much more.

  1. The Suggested Sites tab recommends sites similar to the site you’re viewing.
  2. Select a site to open it in a new tab.
  3. The Get More Add-ons tab shows featured add-ons.
  4. Click to find more add-ons.

Windows Action Center

Wondering if your system is as secure as it should be? Need to fix a problem with your system? The new Windows Action Center combines access to security and maintenance warnings and solutions into a single window.

  1. Action Center is the first option in the System and Security section of the Control Panel.
  2. Click to solve listed problems with your system’s security.
  3. Click to find and solve problems with your system.
  4. Click to restore your system’s configuration to an earlier time with System Restore.

Windows Live Essentials

Windows Live Essentials is an optional part of Windows 7. If you take pictures, write blogs, send and receive email, use social-networking sites, work with video files, or use instant messaging, Windows Live Essentials has the programs you need to get started.

  1. Windows Live Photo Gallery helps you organize, share, and edit your photos.
  2. You can share your photos via Flickr.
  3. Windows Live Messenger provides instant messaging (IM).
  4. Windows Live Call provides computer-to-computer telephone service using the Telefonica Voype service.

Device Stage

Device Stage takes managing multifunction peripherals to a whole new level. With a multifunction printer, smartphone, or another device that supports Device Stage, you can control all of its functions from a single window.

  1. Device Stage displays an accurate illustration of the device.
  2. Device-specific setup and configuration information.
  3. Device-specific functions and support features.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020