Windows 7 is a PC operating system by Microsoft. It is the fastest selling operating system in history and over 500 million licenses have been sold. It became available at retail locations worldwide on October 22, 2009.
Microsoft’s Windows 7 is a “user-centric” version of Windows focused on performance improvements to make it more reliable, more secure, and faster than previous versions of the Windows operating system. Windows 7 included tons of new features and improvements , including:
Improvements to Classics: Significant upgrades to classic Windows programs include Internet Explorer 8, Windows Installer 5.0, Calculator, Paint, Resource Monitor, and WordPad.
Performance Improvements: Windows 7 sleeps, resumes, and reconnects to wireless networks faster. It searches faster, recognizes USB devices quicker, and uses less memory to perform common tasks.
User Interface: The Windows 7 user interface is an improved version of the Windows Aero user interface and style introduced in Windows Vista. Windows 7 supports new desktop themes, desktop wallpaper slideshows, and gadgets. Gadgets are software widgets on the desktop that complete specialized simple tasks or control external applications, running in a memory-saving single process. Common gadgets include clocks, RSS notifiers, search tools, weather, calendar and sticky notes.
Windows Explorer: The Windows Explorer for Windows 7 lets users search through traditional folders or through new libraries. Libraries are a way to manage, search, and organize files. With libraries, related files, whether saved in various places on the PC or in shared folders on a network, are displayed together in one place for easy access.
Start Menu: Instead of the standard Start button, Windows 7 has a Start Orb to access the Start menu. The Start menu is still presented in two columns, but Microsoft added new features. Quick links to Libraries and a new device manager let you easily access files and settings. Jump Lists, which provide shortcuts to options, files, websites or recently used items for specific Start menu items, allow direct and quick access to documents, emails, etc.
Taskbar: One of the most significant improvements and set of new features for Windows 7 is in the Windows Taskbar. The taskbar, introduced in Windows 95, has a larger default size and is application-focused instead of windows-focused. Applications can be pinned to the taskbar, and running applications have a border frame to stand out. Also new for Windows 7 is the ability to interact with thumbnail previews. Windows 7 users can close windows from the taskbar, get a full-sized peek or preview of the window by hovering over the thumbnail, and can use thumbnail toolbars to control the application from the taskbar itself. Right-clicking on taskbar icons brings up a Jump List with common tasks and recently used files for the application.
Windows Media Center: Windows Media Center in Windows 7 has new shortcuts, browsing capabilities, and interface enhancements. It also supports additional types of media for playback. Sharing media is easier too. A Shared column appears when browsing a media library to let users directly access shared media libraries. Also, the new Windows Media Center lets you turn your computer into a TV. You can collect and stream video, and add a TV tuner to turn the PC into a DVR.
Windows 8 will succeed Windows 7 with many new features and improvements, such as the Windows Store, Live ID integration for syncing across devices, and the Metro style UI. The Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 was released on February 29, 2012.
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