Personalization   

We made a number of changes to Personalization for the RC. One of the most visible changes is the addition of prominent theme names to our gallery. Another prominent change is the updated Desktop Background images themselves, which have received a lot of praise and discussion in the press.


To learn more about the creative process that delivered these images, you can read the article A Little Bit of Personality on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog.

Windows Explorer and Libraries   

We heard you! Beta feedback resulted in RC modifications.

Restored familiar Explorer entry points:

·        ÿ (WinKey) + E (lands you in Windows Explorer)

·        Start Menu ‘Users Name’ (lands you in the User folder)

Performance improvements:

·        Searching for files and folders in Windows Explorer

·        Viewing HomeGroup, remote Libraries and network locations

·        Within Common File Dialog scenarios

Other top enhancements from Beta Feedback:

·        Ctrl+Shift+N to create new folder

·        Updated Library header to improve usability and discoverability of controls

·        Copy Engine improvements around error reporting and cancel

·        Automatic re-indexing of files from new file handlers

·        Multi-touch Zoom to change view modes

Fit ‘n Finish:

“Arrange by” updates

·        Changing the grouping in Folder view is now persisted

·        Pictures Library:  Month and Day views now group together pictures and video taken on the same date

·        Music Library:  Artist and Genre views now show thumbnails for up to three unique albums

·        Video Library:  New Length view that lets users easily identify short clips vs longer movies

Content view mode updates

·        Consistent presentation of properties and labels

·        Snippets, snippets, snippets

·        Polished layouts

FAT32 support

·        RC libraries will now support non-removable FAT32 and NTFS hard disk drives

User Access Control

Several changes to User Account Control have been made for Windows 7 – a new two-color icon, more informative prompts, certificate inspection options and a streamlined download experience in IE8:

However, the change you will probably notice first is that  Administrator users can make changes to Windows set- tings without encountering any UAC prompts. This is the default setting, but if you desire more or less notifications can choose from four “levels” of prompting from the new UAC control panel.  These options allow fine-grained control of when and how UAC prompts are presented.  More details of these changes can be found in the Engineering Windows 7 Blog articles here and here.

Desktop Experience   

Increased pinning flexibility with Jump List

For organizing, scaling and identifying, the taskbar is designed to hold files, folders and links in a program’s Jump List. Items can only be pinned to the Jump List of programs registered to handle that file type. Based on feedback we’ve received we now allow one to pin items to a Jump List belonging to a program that isn’t registered to handle that file type. Better yet, pinning the item in most cases will create a new registration so that launching it from the Jump List will always open the file with that specific program. For example, one can pin an .HTML file to Notepad’s Jump List and when clicked on from the menu, the file will always open in Notepad even though IE by default handles the file type.

Desktop icon and gadget view options

Windows 7 makes gadgets far easier to manage, view and access by building them directly into the desktop. In Beta it was impossible to separate desktop icons from gadgets under the View setting available by right-clicking on the desktop. We made a change to afford independent control to each so that one can opt to hide just your gadgets or just your desktop icons.

Windows Flip (ALT + TAB) with Aero Peek

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Aero Peek and how it helps customers switch windows with increased confidence. We decided to make this change since we heard many requests for it. One can still quickly flip between and cycle through running windows using the ALT+TAB keys, but when more window information is needed Aero Peek will appear.  This is triggered by a time delay as you pause while keyboarding through running windows.

ÿ (WinKey) + <#> keyboard shortcut

Clicking ÿ (WinKey) + <#> (where <#> corresponds to an item’s order in Quick Launch) in Vista would simply launch the item. As part of our unification of Quick Launch with the task band in Windows 7, we now beef up the shortcut so it can both launch and switch.

For example, if IE wasn’t running in the Fig above, then Windows Logo + 2 will launch the program (as it did in Vista). If IE is running with a single window, the same shortcut will now switch to the program. The magic really begins when IE is running with several windows or tabs—holding down the Windows Logo and tapping the 2 key repeatedly will actually cycle through the open IE items off the taskbar (with Aero Peek, of course). Letting go simply switches to the corresponding window. Think of this as per-program ALT +TAB shortcut for the first 10 items on the taskbar. If you need a new instance for IE, simply use SHIFT + Windows Logo + <#>. A program’s Jump List may also be accessed via ALT+ Windows Logo + <#>. Finally, you can even flip back to the last active window of a program by using CTRL+ Windows Logo + <#> (this also works by holding CTRL with a mouse click on a taskbar button). Keyboard aficionados rejoice!

Task Bar “Open With”

Quick Launch always supported the ability to drop a file onto a pinned program and have it open with that program. The new taskbar on the other hand, always treats a drop as a pin command. Drop a program and the program is pinned. Drop a file and the file will be pinned under its respective program’s Jump List and that program automatically gets pinned to the taskbar.

It was important for us to keep drag/drop consistent. We believe that for most cases people will open files through the desktop by just double-clicking them or from the Jump List and the default program will open. However, there are some scenarios when a customer wants to open a certain file type with another program. We heard this feedback and decided to revive “Open With” drag/drop on the taskbar with a keyboard modifier. One can hold down SHIFT and drop the file on the desired program.