Windows 7: Few more changes from Beta to RC

Yet again E7 team has posted a massive list of changes from Beta to RC based on feedback, which is quite welcoming. Below are some of the changes listed by Chaitanya Sareen, a Senior Program Manager on the Core User Experience team, Windows 7.

Dual Boot partition drive letter assignment
In the current beta, the other Windows OS in a dual boot configuration wouldn't get a drive letter and therefore wouldn't show up in explorer. This is fixed in RC after immense feedback from the beta customers.

Improved taskbar thumbnail overflow
Users who have a significant number of open windows for a program, encounter a scaling mechanism where the thumbnail views turn into list views along with close buttons on the thumbnail previews

Control Panel Jump List
The Control Panel Jump List now offers a quick access to recently used control panel items

Remote Desktop Jump List
Remote Desktop Connection settings can be pinned to the Jump List now so that they always appear

Applying taskbar settings
Customized taskbar settings are now saved across sessions more reliably. Based on the bugs from Beta, the settings are written within 30 seconds providing enough time to batch a group of changes during the session.

Multi-touch zoom
Support for the zoom gesture is now available for Windows Explorer. Using the zoom gesture you can switch between view modes in Explorer such as zooming from Small Icons to Extra Large icons

Moving up in Folder hierarchy
Unlike in beta, the parent folder's button will appear in the address bar at all times and therefore going 'up' will always be a single click away in a predictable location in RC.

In Beta, a parent folder would collapse into an overflow dropdown

In RC, parent folders always remain within single click access

"New folder" button
"New folder" button will appear in Explorer, regardless of selection

Right-click in Windows Explorer
Previously if one right-clicked over any portion of an item they would get the item's context menu. Now, The view's context menu is shown only when one clicks on any large white space, including the space between a files name and its properties.

Baseline Device Stage experience
Several manufacturers are implementing custom experiences for the Device Stage, but a large number have also opted to support their older devices through the baseline device stage experience. The core functionality is the same, but all of the branding, imaging and vendor-specific tasks are now available automatically in the same convenient UI.

Device Stage experience for a PC
In RC, double-clicking on the PC icon now offers a Device Stage UX. Like the other Device Stage devices, Device Stage for PC will be enabled when the PC maker has chosen to participate with their system.

Head over to the E7 blog to read more about the changes from Beta to RC in Windows 7

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79 Comments

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Just wondering why they don't add an 'Up' button to Explorer like they used to have. It just seems like an operation you do a lot, so it makes sense to have it like that, alongside the 'Back' and 'Forward' buttons.

The breadcrumb bar in Explorer lets you click on the folder before the selected item, so it acts just like the 'Up' button, but without taking up extra space, and having extra functionality (showing the name, and its hierarchal location).

Maybe they'll release the Up Folder button in Windows v.8 for those who have gotten used to it, and still want it.

This is fantastic. I am happy MS is paying attention to the little details that add up to a better usability experience!

I absolutely love the improved taskbar thumbnail overflow. The close button makes it much more easier to close out windows without have to open them too.

In Beta, a parent folder would collapse into an overflow dropdown

In RC, parent folders always remain within single click access

Thanks, Microsoft for fixing that! Having it as an overflow dropdown was very annoying.

Brandon Live said,
Could you be more specific?

You know that one thread that is floating around and the argument is split between two sides,some say that it's not a flaw, some say it's the most aggravating thing in Windows.

Say you change a folder and it's sub folders view to list. You go through it, it's fine. Comeback a few minutes later, a day later, etc... it's always different and you go back to the same folder and it's view has changed by itself to large thumbnails, small thumbnails, whatever. Different folders just change their views on their own.

If we could establish a thread specifically for this bug maybe the problem could get found.

Hitchhiker427 said,
The fact that you work for MS, yet ask that question worries me... it's a pretty notorious bug.

blade1269 said,
Hey,

Did the fix the folder View bug?

That's a really vague sentence dude. If an engineer was careless enough to assume anything from that, then I'd be worried. Notorious or not, blade could have been talking about anything

W7 looks like it will be the best yet, maybe surpassing XP. Looks very promising. Knew Snifosky could do this. I loved what he did with Microsoft Office, the whole ribbon thing. And then the Windows Live Services. Everything he has done is magic so far.

I really agree with this. I installed the Windows 7 beta for the first time yesterday and I really can't get enough of it.

As Brandon has already said, there is really no need, whatsoever, for the 'Up' button.

It is redundant.

You can go back to the previous folders much more conveniently and efficiently using the breadcrumbs in the address bar.

Do you have a link please Rolith? I'm interested in this :)
Also, the current Windows Media Player interface matches the rest of Windows 7, coth, so I don't understand why you'd want them to change it?

I think Sinofsky is worth an applause as the project lead for Windows 7 and how things are shaping up. Remember in the past, when we never even GOT these change logs for new betas, or even new releases. Suddenly we get them down to the gritty details of default swap file sizes. And the difference in how they're listening to their customers. I'm even using Mac now, but this is impressive to see happen, and I hope a tradition that will continue. Watching the Windows 7 development compared to that of Windows Vista is like night and day to me.

If they just keep listening to their customers and get connected to their own community, this will be great. That was the major downfall of Vista.

I couldn't agree more with this comment.

Sinofsky really has been such a fantastic project manager and I even hope he oversees Windows 8 too.

Judging by the size of the "Features new to Windows Vista" page on Wikipedia, there were too many changes to list in blog posts, and even if they did, they sounded straight out of the marketing department when they posted on the Windows Vista blog.

Still waiting for the Jump List to have an "Open new window" option for my web browser, etc. ala the Mac OS X Dock.

Outside of that, I'm getting increasingly impressed with Windows 7. This is a culmination of what Microsoft learned not to do with Vista and good job to them for it.

AeronPrometheus said,
Still waiting for the Jump List to have an "Open new window" option for my web browser, etc. ala the Mac OS X Dock.

Outside of that, I'm getting increasingly impressed with Windows 7. This is a culmination of what Microsoft learned not to do with Vista and good job to them for it.

ON the jump list just click the internet explorer icon. It will open a new window.

AeronPrometheus said,
Still waiting for the Jump List to have an "Open new window" option for my web browser, etc. ala the Mac OS X Dock.

Right click the icon on the superbar, it's in there...

Everybody said,
DO A BARREL ROLL! (Press L or R twice)

I see... so you hope you have a mouse with a scroll wheel in order to use it, notebook trackpad users are out of luck?

It just seems counter-intuitive that way. If there's a Jump List option to close the window it'd be nice to have one that opens another. Where does one go to request Windows 7 features or improvements?

They just told you - the Jump List already has an entry for opening a new window. Right-click on IE or Firefox, then in the Jump List click on the entry there that says "Internet Explorer" or "Mozilla Firefox" and you'll get a new window.

Most laptops users can get middle-click by pressing both buttons at the same time.

You can also Shift+Click.

Brandon Live said,
They just told you - the Jump List already has an entry for opening a new window. Right-click on IE or Firefox, then in the Jump List click on the entry there that says "Internet Explorer" or "Mozilla Firefox" and you'll get a new window.

Most laptops users can get middle-click by pressing both buttons at the same time.

You can also Shift+Click.

And I can close a window with Alt+F4 or clicking the X on the upper right hand corner. But there's a "Close Window" option in the Jump List all the same. Why cannot there be an "Open New Window" option as well?

So does anyone know where one goes to submit suggestions for Windows 7?

In Beta, a parent folder would collapse into an overflow dropdown

In RC, parent folders always remain within single click access

YES! I've always hated how it would randomly change, this is so much better

Some are, some are not.

Looks like the taskbar/jump list enhancements are there but the Windows Explorer and Device stage enhancements are not. Can't test multi-touch with my hardware...

Excellent improvements so far. Shaping up to be the best Windows OS ever released. The fact that 99% of people are already thrilled with the official and leaked releases shows that Microsoft are doing the right things.

I like that the 'other' windows OS shows up again. But I would like the option to 'remove' that other windows partition for showing up. In the beta, it would not show up, and I would have to go to the partition manager and assign a drive letter for it myself. But if I want to de-assign a drive letter I'm screwed, because there's "windows file systems" on it, which is a load of bull.

But I'm glad they are fixing things from beta to RC. On windows vista beta I sent a couple of bug reports that I have only seen fixed in windows 7, and it doesnt seem like they gave a crap about them during the rest of the vista development cycle.

FusionOpz said,
Bug fixes, security patch, the usual. SP's aren't meant to add new features.

XP SP2 added quite a few (Security Center), it was the closest thing to a Mac OS X point upgrade a service pack ever came to. Perhaps Microsoft should start using service packs to slip out a few new bells and whistles in addition to bugfixes, rollups, and patches (features that missed the boat or were cut for technical reasons).

AeronPrometheus said,
XP SP2 added quite a few (Security Center), it was the closest thing to a Mac OS X point upgrade a service pack ever came to. Perhaps Microsoft should start using service packs to slip out a few new bells and whistles in addition to bugfixes, rollups, and patches (features that missed the boat or were cut for technical reasons).

Actually XP SP2 was the exception. It was necessary because XP was a bug-ridden mess beforehand and it really needed a proper update, which they did thanks to their "security" initiative where they even pulled people off working on Vista to do this. As FusionOpz said, Service Packs aren't meant to add new features and you'll find that updates like SP2 won't happen ever again. If you want new features, you can buy the new OS with those new features in.

testman said,
Actually XP SP2 was the exception. It was necessary because XP was a bug-ridden mess beforehand and it really needed a proper update, which they did thanks to their "security" initiative where they even pulled people off working on Vista to do this. As FusionOpz said, Service Packs aren't meant to add new features and you'll find that updates like SP2 won't happen ever again. If you want new features, you can buy the new OS with those new features in.

How can you say updates like SP2 won't happen ever again. How do you know? Second of all, Vista SP2 has quiet a few new additions or features.

xendrome said,
How can you say updates like SP2 won't happen ever again. How do you know? Second of all, Vista SP2 has quiet a few new additions or features.

I think you'll find that it's actually bug fixes and additional support. Not new features of the sort XP SP2 had.

As for the future, yeah I don't know for certain, however, Microsoft have gone on record on saying that SP2 was the exception and future service pack won't be anywhere near the scale of that so don't expect new features.

AeronPrometheus said,
XP SP2 added quite a few (Security Center), it was the closest thing to a Mac OS X point upgrade a service pack ever came to. Perhaps Microsoft should start using service packs to slip out a few new bells and whistles in addition to bugfixes, rollups, and patches (features that missed the boat or were cut for technical reasons).

Well Mac OSX point releases are new OS which are sold and users upgrade to. They are hardly comparable to a service pack.

That and MS DOES still roll out new features in SP's, they just aren't what most would be considered to be big features which makes sense since you would save those to be a selling point in future releases. For instance SP1 of Vista added EFI support if I remember correctly and I think SP2 adds a few other things. Nothing major as far as users are concerned, but backbone features none the less.

xendrome said,
How can you say updates like SP2 won't happen ever again...

He isn't saying that it won't happen ever again, he is just saying that XP SP2 was the exception not the rule.

Windows NT has 6 Service Packs
Windows 2000 has 4 Service Packs
Windows XP has 3 Service Packs
Windows Vista is about to have 2 Service Packs

Out of those 15 Service Packs Windows XP SP2 stands out as stark exception with regards to added features. Windows XP SP2 can almost be considered a different OS from Windows XP pre SP2.

Smigit said,
Well Mac OSX point releases are new OS which are sold and users upgrade to. They are hardly comparable to a service pack.

I meant x.x.X releases, the ones that come down Apple Updates for free. Which don't always have new features but frequently do. Tiger getting the Photo Booth app halfway through its lifespan, the trackpad system preferences pane with videos after the Macs with glass trackpad was released.

This also happens with other Mac apps from time to time, a couple years ago iPhoto got additional book options through a free upgrade, iWeb and iDVD have gotten theme enhancements, a couple of the Jam Packs have gotten additional loops added along side fixes for others.

My point to pointing out the point releases (^_^) is that it would make Windows and other Microsoft software more appetizing if that were to happen during service pack upgrades. Ultimate Extras for everybody maybe?

mikefarinha said,
Out of those 15 Service Packs Windows XP SP2 stands out as stark exception with regards to added features. Windows XP SP2 can almost be considered a different OS from Windows XP pre SP2.

It's basically like XP SP2 is to XP as Windows 98SE was to Windows 98. That sort of upgrade.

Matt500 said,
Just wish they would allow us to decide what buttons we want in places then it would be the greatest.

WHat do you mean?

guruparan said,
Maybe he is asking for the customizing the Windows Explorer toolbar buttons...

That would be great, the current default selection isn't too helpful... I'm especially missing Cop/Cut/Paste buttons.

Wow windows 7 is looking to be another windows xp. They even cut down that hidden system partition size to 100 megabytes from 200 megabytes.