We've covered Windows 7 from rumor to golden master. Now—as we wait for its Oct. 22 arrival—it's enchilada time: Here's everything of value that we learned about Win 7, packed in a complete, easy-to-read guide.
You want to install Windows 7? No problem. Does your computer meet minimum specs? Do you want to go 32-bit or 64-bit? And what about Boot Camp? If these are your questions, read on.
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,…
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.
The first time I opened up Window's 7 calculator, I was delightfully surprised, and that's just not because I happen to be inept at math. It calculates mortgage payments!
When I first tested the newly-integrated Windows 7 gadgets, I discovered that the gadgets disappeared every time I turned UAC off. Well, now you can keep UAC turned off and have your gadgets. Huzzah!
Got an extra monitor lying around? Hook it up brainlessly using Windows 7 in literally two steps.
One advantage Windows 7 has over OS X is that you can stream to your Xbox 360 without the need for third-party software. And though it's still rough around the edges, it mostly functions.
Vista had its own version of a preview pane in Windows Explorer, which didn't work that well and didn't work for all that many file types, but Windows 7 gets it right.
One of the minor, more handy features of Windows 7 is a new way to resize windows by just dragging them to the edge of the screen in a gesture-based action.
Go ahead, try and find Add/Remove Programs in that Control Panel list. It helps if you squint.
Windows 7's ISO burning feature isn't all that useful for a majority of people, but for the small percentage who do need it, it's phenomenal.
Device Stage is a set of baked-in icons and menus for printers, cameras, phones, etc. that wait for the moment when you plug something in. Recognition comes fast and smooth—provided the gadget is supported. UPDATE
In Windows 7, Microsoft has scrapped the virtual/smart folders feature previously available in Vista to categorize documents and replaced it with Libraries. At first, I was really confused: what the hell is a library?