What are some things you can in Windows 7 that you couldn't do in previous versions of Windows? Don't limit your answers to a single feature, I want to learn as much as possible.
Some other great additions:
Math input panel quite simply because it can read my handwriting better than humans.
Better Calculator with history of recent calculations and a myriad of new advanced functions for statistics and programming. Also worksheets for day-to-day calculations such as fuel economy, date calculations, unit conversions.
Ribbon Interface in the old accessories such as WordPad, Paint etc. These incorporate the new UI introduced by Office 07 and hide a few new additional features.
Whole screen Magnifier Pressing
Windows + (Plus) magnifies the entire screen. (Awesome if you want to monitor downloads from a far). Also has other view options.
Libraries are a new folder system which contain folders from various locations. For example Music library can contain folders from e:\music, c:\users\me\music, d:\downloads\music, and deal with all the files together.
Homegroups vastly simplifies sharing files on a home network.
Searching is looks way more cleaner with highlights and the new 'Content' view.
Federated Search allows for custom search providers (in example below YouTube) from Explorer. This is especially useful for desktop programs which have searchable content like OneNote, Stickies etc.
However by far the best feature would have to be XP Mode!
XP Mode allows you to install and run programs in a virtual machine running XP. This is awesome if you have programs that only work on XP. What's more it allows for seamless integration as you can see below, XP's IE6 running besides Firefox on 7 on the same machine.
Some of mine and some from 7 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7:
- Faster startup and shutdown times (Technically not a new feature, but very nice still)
- Windows 7 Libraries (I really like these ones myself).
- Desktop enhancements like Aero Peek, Aero Shake, a nice Wallpaper slideshow feature and gadgets no longer being restricted to a gadget bar.
- The new and brilliant taskbar with jump lists and previews. Also lets you pin programs so it is like a combined quick launch bar and task bar.
- A home group feature which makes it super simple to share files in your home network (seriously, I was surprised how easy it actually was to set up!)
- Better battery utilization.
- Support for touch and multi-touch.
- Much easier to connect to wlan hot spots.
- A very handy Resource Monitor
Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive list of new features in Windows 7. I like that it has a lot more video codecs built in so I can watch my collection of video files without having to install anything extra. Jump lists are pretty useful as well.
There seems to be a bit more support for touch interfaces.
For example, clicking a taskbar icon and dragging upward will bring up that icon's context menu/jump list (the same as right clicking). Similarly, clicking on IE's address bar and dragging downward will open up your history. Dragging to open a context menu makes sense because in a "touch only" scenario you wouldn't have the equivalent of a right-click.
I haven't confirmed that this "drag to open" feature affects all ComboBoxes but it wouldn't surprise me if it does.
Much more versatile animated boot screen :) How do I change the Windows 7 boot animation? Finally!