Microsoft reveals more changes from Windows 7 beta to RC

Posted on March 14, 2009. Filed under: Microsoft, Windows | Tags: , , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad


With the recent leaks of builds 7048 and 7057, some of you may have already gotten a taste of what’s been tweaked as Microsoft continues working toward an official WIndows 7 release candidate. Today, the E7 blog released another list of changes – some subtle, some not so much.

Surprisingly, one of my favorite changes – being able to add the download folder to your start menu – wasn’t metioned. Some noteworthy changes include:

The parent folder’s button always appears in explorer. Remember how we complained about the missing up arrow in Vista, then again in 7? It hasn’t been put back, but backing up one level is now just as easy since the parent’s breadcrumb always shows up.

Invert selection is back in the Explorer edit menu. I don’t use it often, but sometimes I want to select all but two or three files in a massive directory. It’s much easier to pick the two I don’t want and then invert, and now that’s possible again.

New folder is always visible. Another small thing that could be extremely annoying. Feedback noted, fix applied. Now you’re never without access to the new folder button.

Eject! Eject! USB device removal has been addressed, and now requires less steps and is referred to as ejecting rather than safe removal.

USB devices function on resume. An annoying bug caused some devices like flash drive, keyboards, and mice (mine has done this) to sometimes malfunction after a system resumed. There’s a workaround for beta users, but this has now been fixed in the RC branch.

Search re-index after an application install. When you install an app to handle a new file type, Windows 7 will now automatically re-index your drive for any related metadata.• The 200mb system partition has been slimmed. Cut in half, to be exact – collected user data told Microsoft that 100MB is more than enough.• Multi-boot and drive letter assignments. When installing Windows 7 beta in a multi-boot setup, the old OS didn’t receive a drive letter (and therefore didn’t show up in explorer).

Smaller default pagefile. Rather than allocating 300 additional megabytes above your total amount of physical ram, Windows 7 now sets the default size to 100% of ram.

Remote desktop user? Pin the program to your taskbar, and your connections can be pinned to its jumplist.

There are several others mentioned in the official Engineering 7 blog post, including improvements to device stage, the add printer wizard, network drivers, and more.

What’s perhaps most encouraging about the post is the number of changes that have been implemented following feedback from users. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Microsoft is listening this time.

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