Print 15 comment(s) - last by Myg.. on Jan 15 at 10:23 AM

Image of the first prompt you recieve once you open the Games panel.

The libraries view. Clicking on the folder looking icon near the Start button will open this.

The Documents library. This is the new style of "My Documents".

Paint with a facelift. As we can see the Ribbon has been added, and a few additional items at the bottom.

The panel to add or subtract physical directories from the "Libraries" view.
What you see and what you get after a fresh install of Windows 7.

I recently posted an article about my experiences with Windows 7 during the initial setup and configuration. While it was a minor improvement over Vista, it brought with it some concerns such as the issue with a non-hashed password field when adding yourself to a Wireless Network.

This time around since I don't need a camera to take pictures, I will be able to provide you with some screenshots so you can follow along. We're going to jump right into opening up all the common windows, panels, and configuration items in Windows 7 and see what we get.

Opening the Games panel for the first time gives us a prompt to automatically check for news and updates about games we have installed here. If you’re a STEAM user, this will likely be redundant, but if you have non-STEAM games, this might prove useful. Time will tell if game manufacturers jump on board with this and actually give Microsoft the information so it can update you. Other than that, the games panel is exactly the same as it was under Vista.

Moving on to Paint, as some of you may have heard, it has been graced with the ribbon that was pioneered with Office 2007. Love it or hate it, it seems the ribbon is here to stay. New features include shapes, and a few different brushes, more notably the bottom panel shows the canvas dimensions at all times, as well as a handy zoom slider. By default it wants to save in the PNG format, rather than the Bitmap of old. There’s also a new entry in what is essentially the File menu which makes the current project your desktop wallpaper and various options to center, tile, or stretch it accordingly.

Next up is the Libraries. This replaces the "My Documents" folder of old. These libraries are Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos. What is interesting here is that when opening a specific Library, at the top right hand corner you will see "Includes: 2 library locations" by default. Clicking on this shows which actual folders are considered to be part of the "Library". By default it’s the C:"Users"Public"Documents and C:"Users"ME"Documents. Substitute the Document folder with Music, Video, or Pictures and you get the idea. From the locations panel though you can Add or Remove folders to this Library. So for those of you like me, that put your Music collection on a secondary location or even a network location, it seems you will be able to simply add that folder to the library and cut out what you don't want and bam your in business. I have to give Microsoft a +2 for this feature. On the other hand, if you’re trying to backup a friends hard drive attached as a slave, you might need to look in multiple locations to find their data.

Browsing further into the Network panel shows that the router itself is listed here. It shows up as "Residential Gateway Device" and clicking on it brings up its properties. The properties contain its MAC, IP, and unique ID, as well as the model make and version. I like this as it brings a little more information to the average user, but it’s nothing new to techies that can use a command prompt.

Control Panel is next on the hit list today. In here we see they have done away with our escape to "Classic View". Instead there’s a button that looks similar to all the others labeled "All Control Panel Items". I'm not sure what to think about this, as I rather liked my Classic View and the way it was laid out. This new view and lack of options to change its look and feel leave me feeling like a Mac User rather than a Windows Power User.

So far, I like Windows 7 as it feels snappier than Vista did, but then again I haven't loaded anything to it just yet. My major complaint is the new Start Menu. I already hate having to mouse over an icon to get my list of windows I have open. Alt-TAB and Flip3D are going to endure heavier use under Windows 7 I think. Once we have looked at all Windows 7 has to offer, our next stop will be customizing it to operate the way we want it to so stay tuned.

Comments     Threshold

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By Master Kenobi on 1/13/2009 4:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
The test demo was 32-bit, but on my 64-bit demo it gave me the same message. I was however already connected to the external internet by the time I opened the Games menu. Might want to see if that was preventing you from getting to it.

RE: Both
By Master Kenobi on 1/13/2009 4:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Should be a reply to Kefner, its late in the work day, I fail. :P

RE: Both
By Kefner on 1/13/2009 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'll check it out again tonight and see if it pops up, but could be one of those "glitches" the download site warns of. I definitely went in there, my traditional first thing to try out in a Windows Beta OS is to play solitaire :)

RE: Both
By Kefner on 1/13/2009 4:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I was connected to the internet, so not sure why i didn't get it. Not a big deal, probably just a beta thing.

RE: Both
By on 1/14/09, Rating: -1
RE: Both
By oTAL on 1/14/2009 2:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Now he is using multiple accounts to avoid the CATCHA... will someone ban this guy and save us from his ramblings?

RE: Both
By on 1/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Both
By Myg on 1/15/2009 10:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
"He who angers you, controls you"

Its best to just ignore such ramblings anyways.

Good OS.
By threepac3 on 1/13/2009 5:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
I did a fresh install and a Upgrade, the upgrade took forever. I am currently still using the upgrade as my main PC for now. I'll try to keep it like this for the remainder of the Beta period. If I have to I have a back image of my previous Vista Ultimate x64 install.

I have been RDP'ing into the Windows 7 from work all day with out any problems.

RE: Good OS.
By ChronoReverse on 1/13/2009 6:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
What I've done is install Win7 into a VHD file on my main (Vista) install. It works exactly like dual-booting except I didn't have to repartition.

RE: Good OS.
By General Disturbance on 1/14/2009 9:31:15 AM , Rating: 2
How you do that?

RE: Good OS.
By Lerianis on 1/13/2009 11:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the upgrade installation DOES take a long time (3 hours for me). I think that's because it has to find a delete all the detrius that XP and Vista (if you did an upgrade from XP to Vista then to Windows 7 now) left behind.

Are you using 32 or 64 bit?
By Kefner on 1/13/2009 3:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just asking cause I didn't get that pop up when I opened my Games window. I am using the 64 bit version.

By freeman70 on 1/13/2009 8:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why they don't offer more ways to customize your user interface to suit your needs. In Linux distros, this is the norm. When I look at all the different desktop customizations available for linux or even Windows XP, I shudder when I think of what I will be stuck with when I upgrade from XP to Windows 7. Everyone has different ways to organize their desktop, so why not offer several real alternatives out of the box with customizations for each. I think a lot of UI customizations are just eye candy but ones like expose for window selections are genuinely useful. I haven't used Vista that much so I don't know if it's possible in Vista but I hope they allow you to customize the default views for open/save dialogs. That would make my life a lot easier.

By oTAL on 1/14/2009 2:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say I'm impressed with MS...

As a windows user, the two main things I envy form linux users are:
1. The easy update of (almost) all the installed software (think Microsoft Update for all your apps)
2. The easier migration - just copy your user over to another computer and everything should go along for the ride.

Guess MS is on the path to solving both these shortcomings. I love the new "libraries" interface. Awesome =)

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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