- The hibernation file size is configurable in Windows 7 using powercfg.exe. It can be set from anywhere between 50% to 100% of the total physical memory using the -size switch in powercfg.exe, so the hibernation file is compressed and uses less disk space. The default size is 75%
- Windows 7 improves the Tablet PC Input Panel to make faster corrections using new gestures, supports text prediction in the soft keyboard and introduces a new Math Input Panel for inputting math into programs that support MathML. It recognizes handwritten math expressions and formulas. Additional language support for handwriting recognition can be gained by installing the respective MUI pack for that language (also called language pack).
- As opposed to the blank start-up screen in Windows Vista, Windows 7's start-up screen consists of an animation featuring four colored light balls (one red, one yellow, one green, and one blue). They twirl around for a few seconds and then join together to form a glowing Windows logo. This only occurs on displays with a vertical resolution of 768 pixels or higher, as the animation is 1024x768. Any screen with a resolution below this displays the same startup screen that Vista used.
- The Starter Edition of Windows 7 can run an unlimited number of applications, compared to only 3 in Windows Vista Starter. Microsoft had initially intended to ship Windows 7 Starter Edition with this limitation, but announced after the release of the Release Candidate that this restriction would not be imposed in the final release.
- The ClearType Text Tuner which was previously available as a powertoy for earlier Windows versions has been integrated into Windows 7.
- For developers, Windows 7 includes a new networking API with support for building SOAP-based web services in native code (as opposed to .NET based WCF web services), new features to shorten application install times, reduced UAC prompts, simplified development of installation packages, and improved globalization support through a new Extended Linguistic Services API.
- A new font, "Gabriola", is included.
- When a user right-clicks a disc image file, such as an ISO file, the user can click "Burn disc image" to write the image to any compatible disc. Support for image verification is included. In previous versions of Microsoft Windows, users had to install third-party software to burn image discs.
- If an application crashes twice in a row, Windows 7 will automatically attempt to apply a shim. If an application fails to install a similar self-correcting fix, a tool that asks some questions about the application launches.
- Windows 7 includes a TIFF IFilter optional component that enables indexing of TIFF documents by reading them with optical character recognition (OCR), making it possible to search the scanned text rather than the TIFF image file.
- Windows 7 includes power-saving features, such as adaptive display brightness, which dims a laptop's display when the laptop has not been used for a while. Powercfg.exe /Energy generates an HTML report of the computer's power-saving efficiency and checks which devices are preventing the computer from entering the sleep state. Windows 7 can individually suspend USB hubs and supports selective suspend for all in-box USB class drivers
- Unlike Windows Vista, window borders and the taskbar do not turn opaque when a window is maximized with Windows Aero applied. Instead, they remain translucent.
- The Windows Console now adheres to the current Windows theme, instead of showing controls from the Windows Classic theme.
- Games Internet Spades, Internet Backgammon and Internet Checkers, which were removed from Windows Vista, were restored in Windows 7.
- Users can disable many more Windows components than was possible in Windows Vista. The new components which can now be disabled include: Handwriting Recognition, Internet Explorer, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Fax and Scan, Windows Gadget Platform Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Windows Search, and the XPS Viewer (with its services).
- Windows XP Mode is a fully functioning copy of 32-bit Windows XP Professional SP3 running in a virtual machine in Windows Virtual PC (as opposed to Hyper-V) running on top of Windows 7. Through the use of the RDP protocol, it allows applications incompatible with Windows 7 to be run on the underlying Windows XP virtual machine, but still to appear to be part of the Windows 7 desktop, thereby sharing the native Start Menu of Windows 7 as well as participating in file type associations. It is not distributed with Windows 7 media, but is offered as a free download to users of the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions from Microsoft's web site. Users of Home Premium who want Windows XP functionality on their systems can download Virtual PC (or virtualisation software from other provider, such as VMware Player) free of charge, but must provide and install their own licensed copy of Windows XP, and will not have the virtual-physical desktop integration offered by XP Mode. XP Mode is intended for consumers rather than enterprises, as it offers no central management capabilities—Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (Med-V) will be available for the enterprise market.
- Native support for Hyper-V virtual machines through the inclusion of VMBus integration drivers.
- Windows 7 introduces support for location and other sensors. As a demonstration of these sensors, location can be determined reasonably accurately by a machine connected to the Internet by Wi-Fi without a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver by downloading Geosense for Windows (not from Microsoft), which uses "a hybrid mix of geolocation service providers and geolocation methods to pinpoint the most accurate location information possible – including but not limited to WiFi triangulation, cell tower triangulation and IP address lookup".
- The memory manager is optimized to mitigate the problem of total memory consumption in the event of excessive cached read operations, which occurred on earlier releases of 64-bit Windows.
- AVCHD camera support and Universal Video Class 1.1
- Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA) for TV tuner cards, first implemented in Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 for Windows Vista.
- Support for up to 256 logical processors
- Fewer hardware locks and greater parallelism
- Timer coalescing: modern processors and chipsets can switch to very low power usage levels while the CPU is idle. In order to reduce the number of times the CPU enters and exits idle states, Windows 7 introduces the concept of "timer coalescing"; multiple applications or device drivers which perform actions on a regular basis can be set to occur at once, instead of each action being performed on their own schedule. This facility is available in both kernel mode, via the
KeSetCoalesableTimerAPI (which would be used in place of
KeSetTimerEx), and in user mode with the
SetWaitableTimerExWindows API call (which replaces
- Multi-function devices and Device Containers: Prior to Windows 7, every device attached to the system was treated as a single functional end-point, known as a devnode, that has a set of capabilities and a "status". While this is appropriate for single-function devices (such as a keyboard or scanner), it does not accurately represent multi-function devices such as a combined printer, fax machine, and scanner, or web-cams with a built-in microphone. In Windows 7, the drivers and status information for multi-function device can be grouped together as a single "Device Container", which is presented to the user in the new "Devices and Printers" Control Panel as a single unit. This capability is provided by a new Plug and Play property,
ContainerID, which is a Globally Unique Identifier that is different for every instance of a physical device. The Container ID can be embedded within the device by the manufacturer, or created by Windows and associated with each devnode when it is first connected to the computer. In order to ensure the uniqueness of the generated Container ID, Windows will attempt to use information unique to the device, such as a MAC address or USB serial number. Devices connected to the computer via USB, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), eSATA, PCI Express, Bluetooth, and Windows Rally's PnP-X support can make use of Device Containers.
- User-Mode Scheduling: The 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 introduce a user-mode scheduling framework. On Microsoft Windows operating systems, scheduling of threads inside a process is handled by the kernel. While for most applications this is sufficient, applications with large concurrent threading requirements, such as a database server, can benefit from having a thread scheduler in-process. This is because the kernel no longer needs to be involved in context switches between threads, and it obviates the need for a thread pool mechanism as threads can be created and destroyed much more quickly when no kernel context switches are required.
- Windows 7 will also contain a new FireWire (IEEE 1394) stack that fully supports IEEE 1394b with S800, S1600 and S3200 data rates.
- The ability to join a domain offline.
- Service Control Manager in conjunction with the Windows Task Scheduler supports trigger-start services.
Read more about this topic: Features New To Windows 7
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“Art is the child of Nature; yes,
Her darling child, in whom we trace
The features of the mothers face,
Her aspect and her attitude.”
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (18071882)
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