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Lists of running instances of programs with icons pinned to the taskbar have been improved to have close buttons. Hovering over a specific instance now opens a menu for it as well.  (Source: Microsoft)

The page file size in Windows 7 RC1 has been cut from "Memory Size+300MB" to merely the size of the memory. The Windows System partition has shrunk from 200 MB to 100 MB. And driver support for Atom-based notebooks' hardware has improved. All this means that Microsoft is aiming for Windows 7 to run more smoothly on netbooks like this Eee PC, than any previous Windows OS.  (Source: ASUSTek)
More changes including key performance improvements found in Windows 7 RC1, release dates revealed

Windows 7 RC1, according to descriptions by Microsoft, is shaping up to be very impressive.  Microsoft has fixed close to 2,000 bugs based on user feedback in preparation for what may be the best Windows release to date.  In our first special, we took a peek at the Windows 7 RC1 interface changes.  In the second, we took a look at hardware changes and more.  Now we revisit RC1 one more time to look at a few more changes Microsoft has announced, and we also follow with the release dates for the RC versions.

First up in the latest batch of RC1 changes are some more interface tweaks.  When using the thumbnail overflow menus, accessed when clicking on a thumbnail of a program with multiple instances, close buttons have added. Also, when hovering the mouse, a menu for that item appears.  Another tweak is that the control panel icon, when pinned to the taskbar, now displays a list of your most recently used control panel utilities.  For users looking to make use of a console, the Powershell has been greatly improved with jump lists adding a method to load modules, launch the ISE, and open documentation.

Remote desktop connections are now able to be pinned to the taskbar as well as viewed in Recent Items.  Taskbar changes are also now written 30 seconds after being set, an important change, as past versions of Windows didn't write them until Explorer exited meaning that if an error condition occurred the work was lost.

In the touch realm, you can now use multizoom in Windows Explorer to zoom in and out on icons, switching from small and large icons.  Speaking of Windows Explorer, invert selection has been reinstated in the RC1.  Parent folders, even with long names, stay in the path in the Windows Explorer bar allowing single-click return.  Another improvement is that when searching for music, the confusing "Contributing Artist" attribute which often splits up albums has been replaced by a more logical "Album Artist" attribute which only splits up compilation albums.

Rounding out the interface changes, the New Folder button now always appears in Windows Explorer.  Right clicking the background has also been made easier.  When searching, longer snippets of contextual text are also now available.  The RC1 now automatically re-indexes the specific files affected by new file handlers, taking this time-consuming hassle found in the beta off the user's hands.

For a small performance boost, Microsoft has cut log off and shutdown times by 400 ms by trimming the shutdown and logoff WAV files. 

In the realm of hardware, Microsoft is pressuring device makers to implement at least a “baseline” experience for Windows 7's popular new feature, Device Stage.  Based on feedback from Lenovo and others, Device Stage has also been better interfaced with Devices and Printers.  Ejecting devices is now more convenient as the entire device (i.e. the entire USB drive, rather than a volume) is ejected when this command is selected.  USB reliability has now been improved so that problems are no longer encountered after hibernate/resume.  Streaming video from Firewire cameras -- partially broken in the beta -- now works as well.

Add Legacy Hardware has been reinstated for adding non-Plug-and-Play devices, like a Loopback adapter.  Retrieving lists of printer drivers has also been improved. 

One of the biggest changes is that the partition for the Windows 7 System partition has been cut in half from 200 MB to 100 MB.  The partition is now marked "System Reserved" to prevent confusion or accidental deletions.  On a dual boot system (e.g. Windows XP/Windows 7), the second OS can now be navigated as well.  Another major performance improvement is the reduction of the page file size, which has been cut from "Memory + 300MB" to just a file the size of a current memory.  On systems like netbooks, this can save a lot of space, and for high end systems the page file can still increase as needed.  Speaking of netbooks, the last change mentioned is that driver support for new Atom-based laptops has been improved.

If all these changes have you a little excited, you'll be happy to know that the Microsoft plans to soon release the RC1 build to the public.  News site Neowin says they expect it to be released on April 10, but a Russian site Wzor places the release to testers at the fourth week of April and the release to the public near the start of May.

The same Russian source projects Office 14 will be released as a beta in early July and will not be available for public testing.  A second beta will follow in November and the RTM release will come early March 2010.  The source also says that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 will see an RTM release in early October 2009.  Wzor uses information provided by Microsoft to its Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partners as a source.

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missing news
By dastruch on 3/16/2009 10:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
Build 7057 appeared on torrent sites 5 days ago and still no comments about it? Is it RC1 or is it not?

RE: missing news
By Brandon Hill on 3/16/2009 10:46:22 AM , Rating: 1
Not RC1 yet AFAIK. It's just an interim build.

RE: missing news
By omnicronx on 3/16/2009 10:51:16 AM , Rating: 2
We still don't know.. '7042' was also labeled 'RC1' by many, upon its release to the torrents. I would wait for the official announcement, and just like the beta, it will eventually be available to everyone for free.

MS has claimed that they are currently internally testing RC1, so 7057 very well could be the real deal, but my guess is we will see some a few more minor tweaks and changes before the real RC1. (same thing happened with the Beta release)

RE: missing news
By JasonMick on 3/16/2009 11:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
All builds past 7000 (beta) are in the Release Candidate branch, according to what I've read.


So the 7057 build is an RC build. Whether its identical to the RC1 shipped to select testers I'm not entirely sure. I know that the latest build shipped to testers is 7061.

RE: missing news
By JasonMick on 3/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: missing news
By bankerdude on 3/16/2009 11:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
Been playing with the 7057 build downloaded from torrent for 2 days now. Does seem to incorporate the changes you are describing. Also comes with an interesting startup bug involving the desktop.ini file, easy to fix. I dl the 64-bit version and used my reg key from the 32 bit beta version and it worked just fine. Hardware detection worked better than the beta as well.

RE: missing news
By inighthawki on 3/16/2009 11:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
what does the bug do? just curious.

RE: missing news
By bankerdude on 3/17/2009 1:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
The desktop.ini file opens in notepad everytime you start Windows. You have to remove reference to the file from the startup folder.

RE: missing news
By walk2k on 3/21/2009 2:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
Did they fix the bug where windows don't remember their view settings or size/position on screen? That's the last bug for me that would prevent me from upgrading.

That and the BSOD but that's probably just beta Nvidia drivers (I hope)

Stupid Pictures
By superflex on 3/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Stupid Pictures
By abscoder on 3/16/2009 11:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's funny... except in Nebraska.

RE: Stupid Pictures
By Motoman on 3/16/2009 12:19:11 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I'd like to see a new one...but it is funny. Kind of in the way the one with Jobs all contorted up like he's pulling the next iCrap out of his ass...

RE: Stupid Pictures
By Belard on 3/17/2009 10:27:22 AM , Rating: 2
Ah.... but he looks soooo cute!

Only One RC?
By MrDiSante on 3/16/2009 12:48:40 PM , Rating: 4
Wasn't there going to be one RC? In that case, why does the article keep referring to RC1? That's what Paul Thurrott says, and he's generally dead-on about these things:

By matt0401 on 3/17/2009 12:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you guys find these photos of Steve Ballmer?

RE: lol
By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 12:26:26 PM , Rating: 1
It's not hard, when doesn't Ballmer try to be an attention whore?

Stupid tiny vista buttons
By Belard on 3/17/2009 10:34:03 AM , Rating: 1
So what is this silly hold-over from vista with the LAME tiny red CLOSE buttons?!

With both Win7 & Vista, there are these HUGE Icons for programs, Taskbar (Win7), desktops, etc. but then little itty bitty tiny ugly red buttons to close windows or an item such as the examples shown in this article and the Default skin (and some user custom) for Opera 9.

It would be nice if Win7 would be easily skinnable, period. Look at vista, you get Aero, Vista or Win98 look.

I'm sooooo glad I managed to avoid Vista!
By drunkenmastermind on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
By StevoLincolnite on 3/16/2009 11:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
I enjoyed it to, it's amazingly responsive and compatible with everything, I've been using it for the last several months with minimal issues. (I've had issues, but it's to be expected from a Beta).
I did try Vista for a good 6 months, but I found the experience to be less than compelling for me, so went back to Windows XP, Compile times when compiling my source code took significantly longer while using Vista.

And even though it's not a fault of Vista per-say but Intel drivers seriously lacked for the OS in comparison to XP as well, and because I wasn't willing to buy an entire new Notebook, I "downgraded".

Now all I need is a cheap 17" or larger touch screen to take advantage of some of the Windows 7 Interface changes!

By ET on 3/16/2009 11:12:08 AM , Rating: 2
Had enough problems, so went back to Vista. But the mention of USB fixes means that at least one of the serious problems I had (mouse/keyboard not functioning) is likely solved. I will certainly try RC1.

By danz32 on 3/16/2009 11:15:51 AM , Rating: 5
Skipping Vista, eh? Ever heard of Windows Mojave? I think you'd really like it, sounds right up your alley

By chizow on 3/16/2009 3:35:50 PM , Rating: 1
Ya good for you, you've been missing out on 90% of the improvements Win 7 is over Win XP for the last 14-15 months since Vista SP1.

As good as Win 7 is, I won't be in a rush to upgrade simply because Vista is every bit as good minus a few visual enhancements and slight performance tweaks. Driver support also isn't as good on Win 7 yet, although its in much better shape than Vista was pre-launch.

RE: I'm sooooo glad I managed to avoid Vista!
By jonmcc33 on 3/17/2009 8:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
Most of what Windows 7 is (drivers, application compatibiliy) was set in stone with Windows Vista. If you had a good experience testing Windows 7 it's probably because Windows Vista made it that way. I've been using Vista for about a year and a half with no complaints. I hate going back to work and being forced to use Windows XP.

By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 2:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Surely after the world's most popular OS (XP) has been out for a number of years, you eventually managed to use it rather well? "Hate" is silly, it's your own fault if you got used to using a different GUI at home by choice, when you have to continue using a different one at work (not by choice).

Don't upgrade the OS, upgrade the user!

Check this
By anonymousk104 on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Check this
By anotherdude on 3/16/2009 11:24:23 AM , Rating: 5
above post is spam, an easy money scam - delete please

Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By meepstone on 3/16/2009 11:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
and why would we care

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By nosfe on 3/16/2009 11:54:18 AM , Rating: 5
the point is that the button isn't called "Rate Down", it's called "Not Worth Reading" and guess what? posts about typos are "Not Worth Reading"

RE: Good article..
By Aloonatic on 3/16/2009 12:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
Never called for a 6 before, but surly this post deserves one? :)

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 2:21:25 PM , Rating: 1
Wait, are you suggesting that any of our comments here actually have a use beyond trying to seem knowledgeable and complaining? We're not electing government officials, not righting any wrongs in the world, not producing a valuable good or service, not helping enforce laws, fighting for freedom, sheltering a homeless person, helping an old lady across the street, or even shooting a rabid dog.

Somehow people are taking these news and blog comments WAY too seriously. The only real, intelligent point to be made is that there is no point.

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By Aloonatic on 3/16/2009 1:18:09 PM , Rating: 1
Try this forum, you may be more appreciated there.

Now can we get back to debating the news, rather that how it's written?

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By sdsdv10 on 3/16/2009 5:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
As of me typing this reply, you have five -1's and two 0 ratings. I believe it is time to move on.

Regardless of how correct you are in pointing out the mistakes (spelling, gramatical or otherwise), the average reader here just doesn't care.

I would ask you, to ask yourself, do you believe your time was well spent pointing out the original mistake in the article, or replying to the comments of your original post?

If the answer is no... I think you know what to do.

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By inighthawki on 3/16/2009 6:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's because you keep trying to put up a fight about it. Obviously at very least, based on your post count and the rating on them, at least 16 people have said your posts are not worth reading, so apparently the "no worth reading"-ness of your posts extends past a single person.

RE: Good article..
By inighthawki on 3/16/2009 6:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
sorry, small minor correction, <= 16 people have made a total of 16 votes saying its not worth reading, not necessarily 16 people.

RE: Good article..
By omnicronx on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good article..
By Yaron on 3/16/2009 6:59:35 PM , Rating: 1
It was worth reading the article AND the posts because it cracked a smile on my face.
Please keep arguing.

By the way... omnicronx is right. Only people from non-english speaking countries (such as myself) are allowed to make typos (in english). If Daily-Tech makes a typo, they should fix it. omnicronx is helping them improve their service!

RE: Good article..
By nixoofta on 3/16/2009 10:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
And,...if you click on the authors link, can directly e-mail him with your corrections,...but,...wait,...then no one will know how smart you are.

-1 FTW!

RE: Good article..
By bankerdude on 3/16/2009 10:56:28 PM , Rating: 1
Oooh, I want to get downrated too! Omnicronx is right! Down with the naysayers!

RE: Good article..
By Kalessian on 3/17/2009 3:19:27 AM , Rating: 1
This is too funny. Vote me down, too :O

Apparently people who would "rather talk about news" are liars. After this lets all rally on the spammer in the topic above. Justice will be served, dammit!

RE: Good article..
By Visual on 3/20/2009 10:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
you need not care, but you also should not comment against or downrate his comments.

this is really stupid, someone points out a mistake in the article, no matter how minor, it gets fixed, and then everyone reading the comment doesn't get what it is about, and downrates it?

something should be done about this. either:
- DT should announce that it does not want users to point out spelling/grammar mistakes in the comments;
- DT should not correct such mistakes after they have been pointed out, to avoid making the comment that pointed them out hard to understand;
- DT should up the rating of the comment that pointed out the error they corrected to 6 as tribute for helping out with the article;
- DT should post a "thx, fixed" response to the comment that pointed out the error they corrected, so hopefully further readers get a clue about what happened and why they can't find what the comment is talking about;
- DT readers should stop being complete idiots.

SARCASM SPOILER: First three points are jokes, fourth is already happening sometimes but sometimes the article gets corrected without all such comments being noticed, and it would not have much of an effect anyway without the last point. And the last point is just impossible. So that makes my whole post completely pointless, aside from participating in the mentioned competition.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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