Windows 7 is Microsoft's way of saying "We <3 Media." Even other people's formats—notably Apple favorites H.264 and AAC—are supported in the new OS, which comes with the newest Windows Media Player, version 12. But the biggest multimedia upgrade is Play To, a little WMP feature that eclipses all the rest.
With each version of Windows, Microsoft likes to brag about how much more support they have embedded for other people's devices. I remember at the XP launch, Regis Philbin, standing next to Bill Gates, plugged in a Wi-Fi PC card and "it just worked." Though I could never replicate that experience to save my life, times… »
Microsoft has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the living-room PC experience, thanks to Media Center. Slick interfaces and powerful audio/video features combine with the power of a full computer to create a nice experience—though it pays if your PC is CableCard-compatible, for full HD over cable. In… »
Under the hood, Windows 7 is a lot like Vista. Indeed, most of what gets us hot and not-so-bothered about is what's on top: When it comes to look and feel, the new UI is the biggest step forward since Windows 95. »
For the average person, networking and security are two of the biggest causes of OS-related headaches, with so many settings, devices, alerts and threats to stay on top of. With Windows 7, Microsoft attempts a more useful approach to family networking with HomeGroup. It expands its security options, too, but does it… »
Even though Windows 7 is a beta, which means there are a lot of bugs still present—some of which have angered us quite a bit during our time testing the OS. The good news is there are actually some things you can do on your own to avoid them or prevent other nastiness from occurring. »
Before he retired, Bill Gates said that "natural" interfaces would be the next big thing in computing. True to the master's prediction, Microsoft is integrating more gesture and writing controls into their OS than ever before, including—for the first time—genuine multitouch. »
Hello, Windows networking. Hello, pain-in-the-butt. Decidedly, Microsoft attempted to fix the nightmare commonly known as Windows networking, with Windows 7. They may have, or may have not, with Homegroups. »