Print 52 comment(s) - last by lk7200.. on Mar 11 at 5:36 PM

Aero Peek has been added to the ALT+TAB keyboard shortcut. When selecting ALT+TAB, if you continue to hold down the ALT key, but pause, indicating you can't decide which program icon to pick, the view switch from icons to an Aero Peek view of program thumbnails.  (Source: Microsoft)

Color Hot-Track, which highlights the program icon on the taskbar, now stays active when browsing Aero Peek thumbnails for the program. This should help remind users which button they picked.  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is listening to you, and here's what it's done

Microsoft's Windows 7 team has been pretty quiet for the last month and a half since releasing their beta to the public, and many wondered what, if any, changes were going to show up in the final version of Windows 7.  Microsoft's senior vice president in charge of the Windows group, Steven Sinofsky, this week broke the company's silence, telling about how Microsoft has taken in user feedback from its beta and used it to fix over 2,000 bugs.

Now Microsoft has posted a long Windows 7 blog detailing some of these user-inspired changes that are included in the Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of Windows 7.  The changes include tweaks to virtually every area of the OS's operation.  In this first segment, we'll look at some of the interface changes that will affect the user experience in the OS.

First up, one attractive change is the addition of Aero Peek to ALT+TAB'ing through windows.  In Windows, this keyboard shortcut always let you switch through running programs by icon.  Some users inquired, why not use the thumbnail preview of Aero Peek to this feature?  Microsoft complied and after a time delay, the ALT+TAB window turns into an Aero Peek preview that can be tabbed through.

Another big set of changes are tweaks to its Windows Key+<#> launch scheme, a largely overlooked feature in Windows Vista.  In Vista, this shortcut would launch the program that was in the Quick Launch list.  However, it did not switch to the program, but merely started it.  In Windows 7 RC1, this has been tweaked significantly.  The key combination still launches the Window.  However, pressing it again will now scroll through open windows of that type of program, using the above mention Aero Peek additions.  And by clicking SHIFT+Windows Key+<#> you can open new instances of the window.  But the fun doesn't end there, CTRL+Windows Key+<#> allows you to instantly switch to the last window instance, while ALT+Windows Key+<#> will allow you access to the programs jump list --- all without a single finger touching your mouse.

Another nice little tweak is to make "needy windows" -- windows demanding your attention, such as an IM program with new messages -- more visible.  Many users complained that the taskbar button flashing was too subtle and they were missing events.  Microsoft has changed the flashing to a "bolder orange color" and the flash pattern to a more jarring saw tooth wave, as well as increasing the flash rate -- all of which should help get your attention when a window needs it.

One switch which bugged some users was that the drag and drop in Vista's Quick Launch which allowed you to drop a file into a program's icon to open it with that program was replaced by merely pinning the file to a task bar in Windows.  Microsoft, though sounding a bit chagrined about the user feedback on this, consented to adding a SHIFT+drag feature, which allows you to drag and drop files into pinned programs, just like in Vista.

Another key change is that your task bar will now scale based on your resolution.  This means at higher resolutions it can support more icons.  This table comes from Microsoft's MSDN page:

Maximum taskbar button capacity before scrolling


Large Icons

Small Icons

% Increase from Beta (large/small icons)




25% / 36%




25% / 38%




25% / 32%




24% / 39%

Another little tweak is that when scrolling through thumbnails after clicking an item in a taskbar, the item now stays highlighted with its "Color Hot-Track" visual.  This will help the user remember which program the thumbnails are associated with.  One more nice tweak is that after installing new programs, Microsoft now temporarily adds the program to the bottom of the Start Menu to allow for easier pinning and making the program easier to find.

Microsoft has also tweaked its jump lists.  Some people had complained about its lists being too long, so Microsoft, based on its data, decided to limit the list to 10 items.  Enthusiast still can lengthen this maximum length via an easy setting.  Files of non-registered types (i.e. an .html file with Notepad) can be pinned to the program's jump list, now.  When clicking that item in the jump list, it will continue to open the file with that program, if possible.

Rounding out the list of interface changes, the user can now right click on the desktop to hide all icons or to hide all gadgets, allowing the users to easily interact with just gadgets or just icons, in the case of a cluttered desktop.

There's lots more changes, but that's all for the interface update!

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RE: Thank God!
By noirsoft on 2/28/2009 8:10:49 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me that it is more a problem with the Windows build of Blender than with Windows. Also, is t/s supposed to be triangles/second? Shouldn't you be getting more on the order of millions of triangles/second, not thousands?

RE: Thank God!
By greylica on 2/28/2009 9:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
The benchmark consist of a simple Blender GUI Redraw With the objects inside, normally we do this benchmark with a simple cube, the returned result is the amount of times Blender can redraw the GUI in the graphic card, sending the object data (vertices, edges, faces, and textures ) data directly to the card using OpenGL commands.
You can note that performance problems, using different Operating Systems, and when you animate characters, with an armature (like bones) to control, Blender tries to show your animation in Real time based on the framerate you are using to Render. I have some tests here, showing that when you use Linux, you can achieve Real time movements. ( I use the example of 30 frames per second ).
When using Linux, if the data passed to the VGA card is faster than 30 FPS, the frames are discarded, and in case of the data being sent is more than VGA can handle , or if the system have some or a bunch of bottlenecks, the VGA card starts to show frame by frame of the calculated animation, but the time of the frame rate in this case is not a real time frame rate.
Blender have a command to allow you to see frame rates of the animation.
I use the same animation, with the same settings, giving me 17 fps in Windows 7, and was shown in Real time under Linux.

Resuming, there is a bottleneck when using OpenGL in Windows 7, the same problem I found in Windows Vista,
(that´s why I don´t use it, and don´t care anymore) and even when we use appropriate software (32 or 64 Bits), there is something wrong with Windows, or Microsoft didn´t give the right information in manuals to developers of Blender about how to access directly the hardware with openGL, or then it´s a Vista/7 Kernel problem, or then the Microsoft C++ is problematic, or then Vista/7 has inutil codes between software/hardware, or Vista/7 uses DRM between VGA and processors...
Wherever the case (We yet don´t know), Windows 7 is not good enough for work with OpenGl software, not if compared to earlier versions ( 2K/XP is 2X faster ), and not if compared to Linux...
And I want full performance of My PC/Workstation for work, and not for services that I dont´t know and will never use for myself.

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