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Snapshots: Windows 7 in 10 Pictures

First impressions about Windows 7 show that although Microsoft's new operating system is aesthetically similar to Windows Vista, the differences are more than skin deep.

Windows 7 default desktop colours. Quite relaxing and not far from what Vista has on offer. The taskbar is wide enough to be seen from a distance which makes it ideal when using a large screen in a lounge. Note the size of the icons.

The new Media Center looks very much like the old one but there will be some noticeable differences like different fonts and tweaks that make the whole MCE experience altogether more enjoyable.

The search functionality in Windows 7 is more intuitive thanks to the use of filters such as type or tags. And just like Firefox or Google Chrome, strings that match are highlighted thereby enabling easy identification.

The startup menu resembles that of Vista and now include Jump lists which are an extension of similar "recent" lists in Vista and Windows XP. However the Jump List feature pops to life when applied to other applications like Internet Explorer or Media player where dedicated and more pertinent list of actions or suggestions (e.g. last websites accessed) are displayed.

Displaying pictures in Windows Explorer is made even more interesting as folders now show more than one picture. Again a slight modification from Windows Vista. Windows 7 introduces the concept of libraries which are similar to portfolios, bringing together similar content in a virtual folder.

Old time favourite MS Paint has been rehauled with a much, much needed radical interface change and introduces a raft of new features to the application.

Swapping themes around has been made even simpler thanks to the new Theme Gallery.

Explorer in Windows 7 is similar to Windows Vista but introduces the concept of Libraries which we covered on the previous page. You can learn more about this new concept on the official Windows Team Blog (opens in new tab).

Internet Explorer 8 in all its glory in Windows 7, although one can expect Internet Explorer 9 to be already in Beta when Windows 7 is launched in 2010.

Windows Taskbar previews allow for an easier identification of already opened documents and appear simply by hovering over the application "tile".

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.