What's New With Windows 7?

Windows 7 contains features and functions different from Vista

When the Windows 7 operating system was released, it shared many features and functions with its predecessor, Windows Vista. It also improved on Vista in several areas. Some of the changes were cosmetic, such as the new Windows button, but most of the new features, such as improvements to the taskbar, were designed to make the user more productive.

As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

Features and Functions New in Windows 7

Here is a list of features and functions that Microsoft introduced in Windows 7:

  • Action Center: Users can see the alerts Windows 7 shows, which is a handy way to control annoying UAC messages from the desktop while not having to disable the feature.
Screenshot showing Action Center in Windows 7
  • Aero Shake: When you use Aero Shake to click and shake one open window, all the other windows on the desktop minimize.
  • Aero Snap: Drag a window to an edge of the display, and it will automatically maximize. Drag it to an edge again to minimize it.
  • Aero Peek: Point to the right edge of the taskbar to watch open windows turn transparent, revealing all your hidden icons and gadgets.
  • Aero Templates, Themes: New backgrounds and themes were created for Windows 7 including free additional themes downloadable from Microsoft.
  • Device Stage: Device Stage keeps track of and helps users interact with the compatible devices connected to a Windows 7 computer. You can view device status and run common tasks from a single window.
  • Domain Join: Business users quickly connect to different office networks.
  • Gadgets (improved): The Sidebar has been eliminated. Gadgets can be placed anywhere, and new gadgets have more functionality.
Screenshot of Gadgets in Windows 7
  • HomeGroup: Users can quickly create home networks between computers using Windows 7.
  • Jump Lists: Right-click a program icon and see a list of recently used files that use that program.
Screenshot of Jump List in Windows 7
  • Libraries: Make it easier to find, work with, and organize documents, music, pictures, and videos scattered across your PC or network with libraries.
  • Location-Aware Printing: If you travel between offices or home and office, location-aware printing is handy. Windows 7 remembers which network and printer you use and automatically switches the default printer to match the one you last used.
  • Multiplayer Games: Microsoft revived three XP multiplayer games: Internet Checkers, Internet Spades, and Internet Backgammon. You can also access multiplayer games like Roblox.
  • Networking (improved): The improved taskbar widget allows for quick network connection and configuration.
  • Play To function: Right-click the music tracks want to hear and select Play To. Play To works with other PCs running Windows 7 and devices compliant with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media standard.
  • Performance (improved): Sleep mode reconnects with wireless networks, background processes are limited to those needed for currently used devices, faster desktop searching, and easier setup for external devices are all improvements.
  • Taskbar: Pin favorite programs anywhere on the taskbar. Rearrange programs in any way you like by clicking and dragging. Point to a taskbar icon to see a thumbnail preview of open files or programs. Then, move your mouse over a thumbnail to preview the window full screen.
  • Windows Media Center (improved): A few new features were added, and it integrates with Home Group.
Screenshot of Windows Media Center in Windows 7
  • Windows Media Player 12: This upgrade from version 11 plays the most popular audio and video formats including new support for 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, DivX, MOV, and Xvid.
  • Windows Touch: Windows Touch supports computers with touch screens.
  • Windows XP Mode: This mode allows an XP session of Windows to run so that business applications work within Windows 7. However, it does not work with most current Intel and some AMD-based computers.
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