In Windows 7 getting started is simple. Learn all about getting started with Windows 7 in this free lesson.
How is Windows 7 different from Vista or XP?
Based on customer feedback, Microsoft is promoting that it has simplified the PC experience by making many functions easier to use, such as better previewing on the Task Bar, instant searching for files or media, and easy sharing via HomeGroup networking. It also claims improved performance by supporting 64-bit processing, which is increasingly the standard in desktop PCs. In addition, Windows 7 is designed to sleep and resume faster, use less memory, and recognize USB devices faster. There are also new possibilities with media streaming and touch-screen capabilities.
The above are improvements for both Vista and XP users. If you are already a Vista user, the improvements to Windows 7 will be more subtle. Vista users are likely already familiar with features like the Aero visual functions, Start Menu organization, and Search. However, if you are currently using XP, then you may require a bit of an adjustment period.
Improvements for both Vista and XP users
- New Taskbar and System Tray
- Quick Desktop View button
- Improved Start Up, Sleep, and Resume performance
- Improved power management saves memory and battery life
- Libraries to improve file access and organization
- Action Center for system maintenance, back ups, and troubleshooting
- User Account customization of notifications
- Improved back up
- New wallpapers and themes
- Improved gadgets
- New premium games, including Chess Titans, Mahjong Titans, and Inkball
- Advanced Calculator functions, including saving history
- Improved networking via HomeGroups
- Passkey protection with networks
- Device Stage for recognizing USB devices faster
- Windows Mail replaced by Windows Live
Changes and improvements from Windows XP only
- New Start icon
- Aero Snap, Shake, and Peek
- Desktop icons like Computer and My Documents now accessed through Start Menu
- Larger icons and hidden icons in the Taskbar
- Quick Launch toolbar replaced by pinning a program to the Taskbar
- Jump Lists for easier access
- Search Bar in the Start Up Menu
- Run command accessed through Start Menu's Search Bar
- Faster and smoother gaming components
- Parental Controls for monitoring computer use
- Update feature that eliminates web surfing for patches