Features new to Windows 7

Some of the new features included in Windows 7 are advancements in touch, speech,[1] and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, support for additional file formats, improved performance on multi-core processors,[2] improved boot performance, and kernel improvements.

Shell and user interface

Windows 7 retains the Windows Aero graphical user interface and visual style introduced in the operating system's predecessor, Windows Vista, but many areas have seen enhancements. Unlike Windows Vista, window borders and the taskbar do not turn opaque when a window is maximized when Windows Aero is active; instead, they remain translucent.

Desktop
The Desktop Slideshow feature in Windows 7.
Themes

Support for themes has been extended in Windows 7.[3] In addition to providing options to customize colors of window chrome and other aspects of the interface, including the desktop background, desktop icons, mouse cursors, and sound schemes, the operating system also includes a native desktop slideshow feature. A new theme pack extension has been introduced, .themepack, which are essentially cabinet files that consist of theme resources including background images, color preferences, desktop icons, mouse cursors, and sound schemes.[4] The new theme extension simplies sharing of themes, and can also display desktop wallpapers via RSS feeds provided by the Windows RSS Platform.[4] Microsoft provides additional themes for free through its website.[3]

The default theme included with Windows 7 is a namesake theme, and consists of a single desktop wallpaper named "Harmony" and the default desktop icons, mouse cursors, and sound scheme introduced in Windows Vista; however, none of the desktop backgrounds included with Windows Vista are present in Windows 7. Additional themes are also included: Architecture, Characters, Landscapes, Nature, and Scenes, and an additional country-specific theme that is determined based on the defined locale when the operating system is installed; all themes included in Windows 7, excluding the default theme, include six wallpaper images.[3] While only the theme for a user's home country is displayed within the user interface, the files for all of these other country-specific themes are included in the operating system.[5] A number of new sound schemes, each associated with an included theme, have also been introduced: Afternoon, Calligraphy, Characters, Cityscape, Delta, Festival, Garden, Heritage, Landscape, Quirky, Raga, Savana, and Sonata.[6][7] Though itself not a new feature, individual sound schemes can be used within custom themes as well.[8]

Desktop Slideshow

Windows 7 introduces a desktop slideshow feature which periodically changes the desktop wallpaper based on a designated interval specified by a user; the change is accompanied by a smooth fade transition with a duration that can be customized via the Windows Registry.[9] The desktop slideshow feature supports local images as well as images obtained via RSS.[10][11][12]

Gadgets

With Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced gadgets to display information, such as image slideshows and RSS feeds, on the user's desktop; the gadgets could optionally be displayed on a sidebar docked to a side of the screen.[13] In Windows 7, the sidebar has been removed, but gadgets can still be placed on the desktop.[13] Gadgets can be brought to the foreground on top of active applications by pressing ⊞ Win+G.[13] Several new features for gadgets were introduced, including new desktop context menu options to access gadgets and hide all active gadgets, high DPI support, and a feature that can automatically rearrange a gadget based on the position of other gadgets.[13][14] Additional new features include optimizations for touch-based devices, cached gadget content, and a new Windows Media Center gadget.[13]

Gadgets are more closely integrated with Windows Explorer, but the gadgets themselves continue to operate in a single sidebar.exe process, unlike in Windows Vista where gadgets could operate in multiple sidebar.exe processes. Active gadgets can also be hidden via a new desktop menu option; Microsoft has stated that this can result in power-saving benefits.[14]

Branding and customization

For original equipment manufacturers and enterprises, Windows 7 natively supports the ability to customize the wallpaper that is displayed during user login. Because the settings to change the wallpaper are available via the Windows Registry, users can also to customize the wallpaper that is displayed.[15] Additional options are also provided for the login UI, including the ability to customize the appearance of interface lighting and shadows.[16]

Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer's revised user interface
Libraries

Windows Explorer in Windows 7 supports file libraries that aggregate content from various locations – including shared folders on networked systems if the shared folder has been indexed by the host system – and present them in a unified view. The libraries hide the actual location the file is stored in. Searching in a library automatically federates the query to the remote systems, in addition to searching on the local system, so that files on the remote systems are also searched. Unlike search folders, Libraries are backed by a physical location which allows files to be saved in the Libraries. Such files are transparently saved in the backing physical folder. The default save location for a library may be configured by the user, as can the default view layout for each library. Libraries are generally stored in the Libraries special folder, which allows them to be displayed on the navigation pane.

By default, a new user account in Windows 7 contains four libraries for different file types: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. They are configured to include the user's profile folders for these respective file types, as well as the computer's corresponding Public folders. The Public folder also contains a hidden Recorded TV library that appears in the Windows Explorer sidepane when TV is set up in Media Center for the first time.

In addition to aggregating multiple storage locations, Libraries enable Arrangement Views and Search Filter Suggestions. Arrangement Views allow you to pivot your view of the library's contents based on metadata. For example, selecting the "By Month" view in the Pictures library will display photos in stacks, where each stack represents a month of photos based on the date they were taken. In the Music library, the "By Artist" view will display stacks of albums from the artists in your collection, and browsing into an artist stack will then display the relevant albums.

Search Filter Suggestions are a new feature of the Windows 7 Explorer's search box. When the user clicks in the search box, a menu shows up below it showing recent searches as well as suggested Advanced Query Syntax filters that the user can type. When one is selected (or typed in manually), the menu will update to show the possible values to filter by for that property, and this list is based on the current location and other parts of the query already typed. For example, selecting the "tags" filter or typing "tags:" into the search box will display the list of possible tag values which will return search results.

Arrangement Views and Search Filter Suggestions are database-backed features which require that all locations in the Library be indexed by the Windows Search service. Local disk locations must be indexed by the local indexer, and Windows Explorer will automatically add locations to the indexing scope when they are included in a library. Remote locations can be indexed by the indexer on another Windows 7 machine, on a Windows machine running Windows Search 4 (such as Windows Vista or Windows Home Server), or on another device that implements the MS-WSP remote query protocol.[17]

Federated search

Windows Explorer also supports federating search to external data sources, such as custom databases or web services, that are exposed over the web and described via an OpenSearch definition. The federated location description (called a Search Connector) is provided as a .osdx file. Once installed, the data source becomes queryable directly from Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer features, such as previews and thumbnails, work with the results of a federated search as well.

Miscellaneous shell enhancements

Windows Explorer has received numerous minor enhancements that improve its overall functionality. The Explorer's search box and the address bar can be resized. Folders such as those on the desktop or user profile folders can be hidden in the navigation pane to reduce clutter. A new Content view is added, which shows thumbnails and metadata together. A new button to toggle the Preview Pane has been added to the toolbar. The button to create a new folder has been moved from the Organize menu and onto the toolbar. List view provides more space between items than in Windows Vista. Finally, storage space consumption bars that were only present for hard disks in Windows Vista are now shown for removable storage devices.

Other areas of the shell have also received similar fine-tunings: Progress bars and overlay icons may now appear on an application's button on the taskbar to better alert the user of the status of the application or the work in progress. File types for which property handlers or iFilters are installed are re-indexed by default. Previously, adding submenus to shell context menus or customizing the context menu's behavior for a certain folder was only possible by installing a form of plug-in known as shell extensions. In Windows 7 however, computer-savvy users can do so by editing Windows Registry and/or desktop.ini files.[18][19] Additionally, a new shell API was introduced designed to simplify the writing of context menu shell extensions by software developers.[20][21]

Windows 7 includes native support for burning ISO files. The functionality is available when a user selects the Burn disc image option within the context menu of an ISO file. Support for disc image verification is also included. In previous versions of Windows, users were required to install-third party software to burn ISO images.[22]

Start menu

The start orb now has a fade-in highlight effect when the user hovers the mouse cursor over it. The Start Menu's right column is now the Aero glass color. In Windows Vista, it was always black.

The search results pane in Windows 7, demonstrating a search for the word "wireless".

Windows 7's Start menu retains the two-column layout of its predecessors, with several functional changes:

  • The "Documents", "Pictures" and "Music" buttons now link to the Libraries of the same name.
  • A "Devices and Printers" option has been added that displays a new device manager.
  • The "shut down" icon in Windows Vista has been replaced with a text link indicating what action will be taken when the icon is clicked. The default action to take is now configurable through the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window.
  • Taskbar Jump Lists are presented in the Start Menu via a guillemet; when the user moves the mouse cursor over the guillemet, or presses the right-arrow key, the right-hand side of the Start menu is widened and replaced with the application's Jump List.
  • Links to the "Videos", "Downloads", and "Recorded TV" folders can now be added to the Start menu.

The Start Search field, introduced in Windows Vista, has been extended to support searching for keywords of Control Panel items. For example, clicking the Start button then typing "wireless" will show Control Panel options related to configuring and connecting to wireless network, adding Bluetooth devices, and troubleshooting. Group Policy settings for Windows Explorer provide the ability for administrators of an Active Directory domain, or an expert user to add up to five Internet web sites and five additional "search connectors" to the Search Results view in the Start menu. The links, which appear at the bottom of the pane, allow the search to be executed again on the selected web site or search connector. Microsoft suggests that network administrators could use this feature to enable searching of corporate Intranets or an internal SharePoint server.[23]

Taskbar

The Windows Taskbar has seen its most significant revision since its introduction in Windows 95 and combines the previous Quick Launch functionality with open application window icons. The taskbar is now rendered as an Aero glass element whose color can be changed via the Personalization Control Panel. It is 10 pixels taller than in Windows Vista to accommodate touch screen input and a new larger default icon size (although a smaller taskbar size is available), as well as maintain proportion to newer high resolution monitor modes.[24] Running applications are denoted by a border frame around the icon. Within this border, a color effect (dependent on the predominant RGB value of the icon) that follows the mouse cursor also indicates the opened status of the application. The glass taskbar is more translucent than in Windows Vista. Taskbar buttons show icons by default, not application titles, unless they are set to 'not combine', or 'combine when taskbar is full.' In this case, only icons are shown when the application is not running. Programs running or pinned on the taskbar can be rearranged. Items in the notification area can also be rearranged.

The default taskbar of Windows 7.
Pinned applications

The Quick Launch toolbar has been removed from the default configuration, but may be easily added.[25] The Windows 7 taskbar is more application-oriented than window-oriented, and therefore doesn't show window titles (these are shown when an application icon is clicked or hovered over). Applications can now be pinned to the taskbar allowing the user instant access to the applications they commonly use. There are a few ways to pin applications to the taskbar. Icons can be dragged and dropped onto the taskbar, or the application’s icon can be right-clicked to pin it to the taskbar.

The Windows 7 taskbar shows a preview of the window.
Thumbnail previews

Thumbnail previews which were introduced in Windows Vista have been expanded to not only preview the windows opened by the application in a small-sized thumbnail view, but to also interact with them. The user can close any window opened by clicking the X on the corresponding thumbnail preview. The name of the window is also shown in the thumbnail preview. A "peek" at the window is obtained by hovering over the thumbnail preview. Peeking brings up only the window of the thumbnail preview over which the mouse cursor hovers, and turns any other windows on the desktop transparent. This also works for tabs in Internet Explorer: individual tabs may be peeked at in the thumbnail previews. Thumbnail previews integrate Thumbnail Toolbars [26] which can control the application from the thumbnail previews themselves. For example, if Windows Media Player is opened and the mouse cursor is hovering on the application icon, the thumbnail preview will allow the user the ability to Play, Stop, and Play Next/Previous track without having to switch to the Windows Media Player window.

Jump lists

Jump lists are menu options available by right-clicking a taskbar icon or holding the left mouse button and sliding towards the center of the desktop on an icon. Each application has a jump list corresponding to its features, Microsoft Word's displaying recently opened documents; Windows Media Player's recent tracks and playlists; Internet Explorer's recent browsing history and options for opening new tabs or starting InPrivate Browsing; Windows Live Messenger's common tasks such as instant messaging, signing off, and changing online status. Up to 10 menu items may appear on a list, partially customizable by user.[27]

The redesigned notification area with balloon notification showing Action Center messages
Action Center displaying notification of security threats
Task progress

Progress bar in taskbar's tasks allows users to know the progress of a task without switching to the pending window.[28] Task progress is used in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and third-party software.

A testing program using Task progress
Notification area

The notification area has been redesigned; the standard Volume, Network, Power and Action Center status icons are present, but no other application icons are shown unless the user has chosen them to be shown. A new "Notification Area Icons" control panel has been added which replaces the "Customize Notification Icons" dialog box in the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window first introduced in Windows XP. In addition to being able to configure whether the application icons are shown, the ability to hide each application's notification balloons has been added. The user can then view the notifications at a later time.

A triangle to the left of the visible notification icons displays the hidden notification icons. Unlike Windows Vista and Windows XP, the hidden icons are displayed in a window above the taskbar, instead of on the taskbar. Icons can be dragged between this window and the notification area.

Windows 7 desktop displayed through Peek.
Aero Peek

In previous versions of Windows, the taskbar ended with the notification area on the right-hand side. Windows 7, however, introduces a show desktop button on the far right side of the taskbar which can initiate an Aero Peek feature that makes all open windows translucent when hovered over by a mouse cursor. Clicking this button shows the desktop, and clicking it again brings all windows to focus. The new button replaces the show desktop shortcut located in the Quick Launch toolbar in previous versions of Windows.[29]

On touch-based devices, Aero Peek can be initiated by pressing and holding the show desktop button; touching the button itself shows the desktop. The button also increases in width to accommodate being pressed by a finger.[30]

Window management mouse gestures
Aero Snap

Windows can be dragged to the top of the screen to maximize them and dragged away to restore them. Dragging a window to the left or right of the screen makes it take up half the screen, allowing the user to tile two windows next to each other. Also, resizing the window to the bottom of the screen or its top will extend the window to full height but retain its width.[31] These features can be disabled via the Ease of Access Center if users do not wish the windows to automatically resize.[32]

Aero Shake

Aero Shake allows users to clear up any clutter on their screen by shaking (dragging back and forth) a window of their choice with the mouse. All other windows will minimize, while the window the user shook stays active on the screen.[33] When the window is shaken again, they are all restored, similar to desktop preview. Use when you have many open windows on your desktop. This feature will minimize all windows except the one you shake. Click and hold on the title bar of the window you need open and shake the mouse. The window you shake will maximize and all others will be minimized. To restore all windows, shake the mouse again whilst holding on to the title bar of the open window.

Keyboard shortcuts

A variety of new keyboard shortcuts have been introduced.[34][35] [36]

Global keyboard shortcuts:

  • ⊞ Win+Space bar operates as a keyboard shortcut for Aero Peek.
  • ⊞ Win+ maximizes the current window.
  • ⊞ Win+ if current window is maximized, restores it; otherwise minimizes current window.
  • ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+ makes upper and lower edge of current window nearly touch the upper and lower edge of the Windows desktop environment, respectively.
  • ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+ restores the original size of the current window.
  • ⊞ Win+ snaps the current window to the left edge of the screen.
  • ⊞ Win+ snaps the current window to the right half of the screen.
  • ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+ and ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+ move the current window to the left or right display.
  • ⊞ Win++ functions as zoom in command wherever applicable.
  • ⊞ Win+ functions as zoom out command wherever applicable.
  • ⊞ Win+ESC turn off zoom once enabled.
  • ⊞ Win+Home operates as a keyboard shortcut for Aero Shake.
  • ⊞ Win+Tab View opened application and windows in 3D stack view.
  • ⊞ Win+P Opens Connect to a Network Projector, which has been updated from previous versions of Windows, and allows one to dictate where the desktop is displayed: on the main monitor, an external display, both; or allows one to display two independent desktops on two separate monitors.

Taskbar:

  • Shift + Click, or Middle click starts a new instance of the application, regardless of whether it's already running.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Click starts a new instance with Administrator privileges; by default, a User Account Control prompt will be displayed.
  • Shift + Right-click (or right-clicking the program's thumbnail) shows the titlebar's context menu which, by default, contains "Restore", "Move", "Size", "Maximize", "Minimize" and "Close" commands. If the icon being clicked on is a grouped icon, a specialized context menu with "Restore All", "Minimize All", and "Close All" commands is shown.
  • Ctrl + Click on a grouped icon cycles between the windows (or tabs) in the group.
Font management

The user interface for font management has been overhauled in Windows 7. As with Windows Vista, the collection of installed fonts is displayed in a Windows Explorer window, but fonts that originate from the same font family appear as icons that are represented as stacks that display font previews within the interface. Windows 7 also introduces the option to hide installed fonts; certain fonts are automatically removed from view based on a user's regional settings.[37] An option to manually hide installed fonts is also available. Hidden fonts remain installed but are not enumerated when an application asks for a list of available fonts, thus reducing the amount of fonts to scroll through within the interface and also reducing memory usage.[38] Windows 7 includes over 40 new fonts,[39] including a new "Gabriola" font.[38][40]

The dialog box for fonts in Windows 7 has also been updated to display font previews within the interface, which allows users to preview fonts before selecting them. Previous versions of windows only displayed the name of the font.[41][42]

The ClearType Text Tuner which was previously available as a Microsoft Powertoy for earlier Windows versions has been integrated into, and updated for Windows 7.

Microsoft would later backport Windows 8 Emoji features to Windows 7.[43]

Devices

There are two major new user interface components for device management in Windows 7, "Devices and Printers" and "Device Stage". Both of these are integrated with Windows Explorer, and together provide a simplified view of what devices are connected to the computer, and what capabilities they support.

Devices and Printers
The new Devices and Printers Control Pane; custom icons can be downloaded via the Internet.

Devices and Printers is a new Control Panel interface that is directly accessible from the Start menu. Unlike the Device Manager Control Panel applet, which is still present, the icons shown on the Devices and Printers screen are limited to components of the system that a non-expert user will recognize as plug-in devices. For example, an external monitor connected to the system will be displayed as a device, but the internal monitor on a laptop will not. Device-specific features are available through the context menu for each device; an external monitor's context menu, for example, provides a link to the "Display Settings" control panel.

This new Control Panel applet also replaces the "Printers" window in prior versions of Windows; common printer operations such as setting the default printer, installing or removing printers, and configuring properties such as paper size are done through this control panel.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 introduce print driver isolation, which improves the reliability of the print spooler by running printer drivers in a separate process to the spooler service. If a third party print driver fails while isolated, it does not impact other drivers or the print spooler service.

Device Stage
A Device Stage window showing available options for a Microsoft Wireless Comfort Keyboard 4000.

Device Stage provides a centralized location for an externally connected multi-function device to present its functionality to the user. When a device such as a portable music player is connected to the system, the device appears as an icon on the task bar, as well as in Windows Explorer.

Windows 7 ships with high-resolution images of a number of popular devices, and is capable of connecting to the Internet to download images of devices it doesn't recognize. Opening the icon presents a window that displays actions relevant to that device. Screenshots of the technology presented by Microsoft suggest that a mobile phone could offer options for two-way synchronization, configuring ring-tones, copying pictures and videos, managing the device in Windows Media Player, and using Windows Explorer to navigate through the device.[44] Other device status information such as free memory and battery life can also be shown. The actual per-device functionality is defined via XML files that are downloaded when the device is first connected to the computer, or are provided by the manufacturer on an installation disc.[45]

Mobility enhancements
Multi-touch support

Hilton Locke, who worked on the Tablet PC team at Microsoft, reported on December 11, 2007 that Windows 7 will have new touch features on devices supporting multi-touch. An overview and demonstration of the multi-touch capabilities, including a virtual piano program, a mapping and directions program and a touch-aware version of Microsoft Paint, was given at the All Things Digital Conference on May 27, 2008; a video of the multi-touch capabilities was made available on the web later the same day.[46]

Sensors

Windows 7 introduces native support for sensors, including accelerometer sensors, ambient light sensors, and location-based sensors;[47] the operating system also provides a unified driver model for sensor devices.[48] A notable use of this technology in Windows 7 is the operating system's adaptive display brightness feature, which automatically adjusts the brightness of a compatible computer's display based on environmental light conditions and factors.[49] Gadgets developed for Windows 7 can also display location-based information.[50] Applications for certain sensor capabilities can be developed without the requisite hardware.[51]

Because data acquired by some sensors can be considered personally identifiable information, all sensors are disabled by default in Windows 7, and an account in Windows 7 requires administrative permissions to enable a sensor. Sensors also require user consent to share location data.[48]

Power management
Battery notification messages

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 is able to report when a laptop battery is in need of a replacement. The operating system works with design capabilities present in modern laptop batteries to report this information.[52]

Hibernation improvements

The powercfg command enables the customization of the hibernation file size. By default, Windows 7 automatically sets the size of the hibernation file to 75% of a computer's total physical memory. The operating system also compresses the contents of memory during the hibernate process to minimize the possibility that the contents exceeds the default size of the hibernation file.[53]

Power analysis and reporting

Windows 7 introduces a new /Energy parameter for the powercfg command, which generates an HTML report of a computer's energy efficiency and displays information related to devices or settings.[54]

USB suspension

Windows 7 can individually suspend USB hubs and supports selective suspend for all in-box USB class drivers.[55]

Graphics
DirectX

Direct3D 11, Direct2D, DirectWrite, DXGI 1.1, WARP and several other components are currently available for Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 by installing the Platform Update for Windows Vista.[58]

Desktop Window Manager

First introduced in Windows Vista, the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) in Windows 7 has been updated to use version 10.1 of Direct3D API, and its performance has been improved significantly.[59]

The Desktop Window Manager still requires at least a Direct3D 9-capable video card (supported with new D3D10_FEATURE_LEVEL_9_n [60] device type introduced with the Direct3D 11 runtime).

With a video driver conforming to Windows Display Driver Model v1.1, DXGI kernel in Windows 7 provides 2D hardware acceleration to APIs such as GDI, Direct2D and DirectWrite (though GDI+ was not updated to use this functionality). This allows DWM to use significantly lower amounts of system memory, which do not grow regardless of how many windows are opened, like it was in Windows Vista.[61] Systems equipped with a WDDM 1.0 video card will operate in the same fashion as in Windows Vista, using software-only rendering.

The Desktop Window Manager in Windows 7 also adds support for systems using multiple heterogeneous graphics cards from different vendors.[62]

Other changes

Support for color depths of 30 and 48 bits is included, along with the wide color gamut scRGB (which for HDMI 1.3 can be converted and output as xvYCC). The video modes supported in Windows 7 are 16-bit sRGB, 24-bit sRGB, 30-bit sRGB, 30-bit with extended color gamut sRGB, and 48-bit scRGB.[63][64]

Each user of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 has individual DPI settings, rather than the machine having a single setting as in previous versions of Windows. DPI settings can be changed by logging on and off, without needing to restart.[65]

File system
Solid state drives

Over time, several technologies have been incorporated into subsequent versions of Windows to improve the performance of the operating system on traditional hard disk drives (HDD) with rotating platters. Since Solid state drives (SSD) differ from mechanical HDDs in some key areas (no moving parts, write amplification, limited number of erase cycles allowed for reliable operation), it is beneficial to disable certain optimizations and add others, specifically for SSDs.

Windows 7 incorporates many engineering changes to reduce the frequency of writes and flushes, which benefit SSDs in particular since each write operation wears the flash memory.

Windows 7 also makes use of the TRIM command. If supported by the SSD (not implemented on early devices), this optimizes when erase cycles are performed, reducing the need to erase blocks before each write and increasing write performance.

Several tools and techniques that were implemented in the past to reduce the impact of the rotational latency of traditional HDDs, most notably disk defragmentation, SuperFetch, ReadyBoost, and application launch prefetching, involve reorganizing (rewriting) the data on the platters. Since SSDs have no moving platters, this reorganization has no advantages, and may instead shorten the life of the solid state memory. Therefore, these tools are by default disabled on SSDs in Windows 7, except for some early generation SSDs that might still benefit.

Finally, partitions made with Windows 7’s partition-creating tools are created with the SSD’s alignment needs in mind, avoiding unwanted systematic write amplification.[66]

Virtual hard disks

The Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 incorporate support for the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format. VHD files can be mounted as drives, created, and booted from, in the same way as WIM files.[67] Furthermore, an installed version of Windows 7 can be booted and run from a VHD drive, even on non-virtual hardware, thereby providing a new way to multi boot Windows. Some features such as hibernation and BitLocker are not available when booting from VHD.

Disk partitioning

By default, a computer's disk is partitioned into two partitions: one of limited size for booting, BitLocker and running the Windows Recovery Environment and the second with the operating system and user files.[68]

Removable media

Windows 7 has also seen improvements to the Safely Remove Hardware menu, including the ability to eject just one camera card at the same time (from a single hub) and retain the ports for future use without reboot; and the labels of removable media are now also listed, rather than just the drive letter.[69] Windows Explorer now by default only shows memory card reader ports in My Computer if they contain a card.[69]

BitLocker to Go

BitLocker brings encryption support to removable disks such as USB drives. Such devices can be protected by a passphrase, a recovery key, or be automatically unlocked on a computer.[70]

Boot performance

According to data gathered from the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), 35% of Vista SP1 installations boot up in 30 seconds or less. The more lengthy boot times on the remainder of the machines are mainly due to some services or programs that are loaded but are not required when the system is first started. Microsoft's Mike Fortin, a distinguished engineer on the Windows team, noted in August 2008 that Microsoft has set aside a team to work solely on the issue, and that team aims to "significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times". They "focused very hard on increasing parallelism of driver initialization". Also, Microsoft aims to "dramatically reduce" the number of system services, along with their demands on processors, storage, and memory.[71]

Multimedia
Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center in Windows 7 has retained much of the design and feel of its predecessor, but with a variety of user interface shortcuts and browsing capabilities.[72] Playback of H.264 video both locally and through a Media Center Extender (including the Xbox 360) is supported.

Some notable enhancements in Windows 7 Media Center include a new mini guide, a new scrub bar, the option to color code the guide by show type, and internet content that is more tightly integrated with regular TV via the guide. All Windows 7 versions now support up to four tuners of each type (QAM, ATSC, CableCARD, NTSC, etc.).

When browsing the media library, items that don't have album art are shown in a range of foreground and background color combinations instead of using white text on a blue background. When the left or right remote control buttons are held down to browse the library quickly, a two-letter prefix of the current album name is prominently shown as a visual aid. The Picture Library includes new slideshow capabilities, and individual pictures can be rated.

Also, while browsing a media library, a new column appears at the top named "Shared." This allows users to access shared media libraries on other Media Center PCs from directly within Media Center.

For television support, the Windows Media Center "TV Pack" released by Microsoft in 2008 is incorporated into Windows Media Center. This includes support for CableCARD and North American (ATSC) clear QAM tuners, as well as creating lists of favorite stations.[73]

A gadget for Windows Media Center is also included.[13]

Format support

Windows 7 includes AVI, WAV, AAC/ADTS file media sinks to read the respective formats,[74] an MPEG-4 file source to read MP4, M4A, M4V, MP4V MOV and 3GP container formats[75] and an MPEG-4 file sink to output to MP4 format.[76] Windows 7 also includes a media source to read MPEG transport stream/BDAV MPEG-2 transport stream (M2TS, MTS, M2T and AVCHD) files.

Transcoding (encoding) support is not exposed through any built-in Windows application but codecs are included as Media Foundation Transforms (MFTs).[74] In addition to Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video encoders and decoders, and ASF file sink and file source introduced in Windows Vista,[74] Windows 7 includes an H.264 encoder with Baseline profile level 3 and Main profile support[77] and an AAC Low Complexity (AAC-LC) profile encoder.[78]

For playback of various media formats, Windows 7 also introduces an H.264 decoder with Baseline, Main, and High profiles support, up to level 5.1,[79] AAC-LC and HE-AAC v1 (SBR) multichannel, HE-AAC v2 (PS) stereo decoders,[80] MPEG-4 Part 2 Simple Profile and Advanced Simple Profile decoders[81] which includes decoding popular codec implementations such as DivX, Xvid and Nero Digital as well as MJPEG[74] and DV[82] MFT decoders for AVI. Windows Media Player 12 uses the built-in Media Foundation codecs to play these formats by default.

Windows 7 also updates the DirectShow filters introduced in Windows Vista for playback of MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital to decode H.264, AAC, HE-AAC v1 and v2[83] and Dolby Digital Plus[84] (including downmixing to Dolby Digital).

Security

Action Center, formerly Windows Security Center, now encompasses both security and maintenance. (It was called Windows Health Center and Windows Solution Center in earlier builds).

A new user interface for User Account Control has been introduced, which provides the ability to select four different levels of notifications, one of these notification settings, Default, is new to Windows 7.[85] Geo-tracking capabilities are also available in Windows 7. The feature will be disabled by default. When enabled the user will only have limited control as to which applications can track their location.[86]

The Encrypting File System supports Elliptic-curve cryptographic algorithms (ECC) in Windows 7. For backward compatibility with previous releases of Windows, Windows 7 supports a mixed-mode operation of ECC and RSA algorithms. EFS self-signed certificates, when using ECC, will use 256-bit key by default. EFS can be configured to use 1K/2k/4k/8k/16k-bit keys when using self-signed RSA certificates, or 256/384/512-bit keys when using ECC certificates.

In Windows Vista, the Protected User-Mode Audio (PUMA) content protection facilities are only available to applications that are running in a Protected Media Path environment. Because only the Media Foundation application programming interface could interact with this environment, a media player application had to be designed to use Media Foundation. In Windows 7, this restriction is lifted.[87] PUMA also incorporates stricter enforcement of "Copy Never" bits when using Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) copy protection over an S/PDIF connection, as well as with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) over HDMI connections.

Biometrics

Windows 7 includes the new Windows Biometric Framework.[88] This framework consists of a set of components that standardizes the use of fingerprint biometric devices. In prior releases of Microsoft Windows, biometric hardware device manufacturers were required to provide a complete stack of software to support their device, including device drivers, software development kits, and support applications. Microsoft noted in a white paper on the Windows Biometric Framework that the proliferation of these proprietary stacks resulted in compatibility issues, compromised the quality and reliability of the system, and made servicing and maintenance more difficult. By incorporating the core biometric functionality into the operating system, Microsoft aims to bring biometric device support on par with other classes of devices.

A new Control Panel called Biometric Device Control Panel is included which provides an interface for deleting stored biometrics information, troubleshooting, and enabling or disabling the types of logins that are allowed using biometrics. Biometrics configuration can also be configured using Group Policy settings.

Networking
  • DirectAccess, a VPN tunnel technology based on IPv6 and IPsec. DirectAccess requires domain-joined machines, Windows Server 2008 R2 on the DirectAccess server, at least Windows Server 2008 domain controllers and a PKI to issue authentication certificates.[89]
  • BranchCache, a WAN optimization technology.[90]
  • The Bluetooth stack includes improvements introduced in the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, namely, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support and remote wake from S3 or S4 support for self-powered Bluetooth modules.[91]
  • NDIS 6.20[92] (Network Driver Interface Specification)
  • WWAN (Mobile broadband) support (driver model based on NDIS miniport driver for CDMA and GSM device interfaces, Connection Manager support and Mobile Broadband COM and COM Interop API).
  • Wireless Hosted Network capabilities: The Windows 7 wireless LAN service supports two new functions – Virtual Wi-Fi, that allows a single wireless network adapter to act like two client devices,[93] or a software-based wireless access point (SoftAP) to act as both a wireless hotspot in infrastructure mode and a wireless client at the same time.[94] This feature is not exposed through the GUI; however the Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter can be installed and enabled for wireless adapters with drivers that support a hosted network by using the command netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow "ssid=" "key=" keyusage=persistent|temporary at an elevated command prompt.[95] The wireless SoftAP can afterwards be started using the command netsh wlan start hostednetwork. Windows 7 also supports WPA2-PSK/AES security for the hosted network, but DNS resolution for clients requires it to be used with Internet Connection Sharing or a similar feature.
  • SMB 2.1, which includes minor performance enhancements over SMB2, such as a new opportunistic locking mechanism.[96]
  • RDP 7.0[97]
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service 4.0[98]
HomeGroup

Alongside the workgroup system used by previous versions, Windows 7 adds a new ad hoc home networking system known as HomeGroup. The system uses a password to join computers into the group, and allows users' libraries, along with individual files and folders, to be shared between multiple computers. Only computers running Windows 7 to Windows 10 version 1709 can create or join a HomeGroup.[99][100] Windows HomeGroup home network feature support was deprecated in Windows 10[101] and has been removed from Windows 10 version 1803 and later.[102][103][104]

HomeGroup as a concept is very similar to a feature slated for Windows Vista, known as Castle, which would have made it possible to have an identification service for all members on the network, without a centralized server.

HomeGroup is created in response to the need for a simple sharing model for inexperienced users who need to share files without wrestling with user accounts, Security descriptors and share permissions.[105] To that end, Microsoft previously created Simple File Sharing mode in Windows XP that, once enabled, caused all connected computers to be authenticated as Guest. Under this model, either a certain file or folder was shared with anyone who connects to the network (even unauthorized parties who are in range of the wireless network) or was not shared at all.[106] In a HomeGroup, however:

  1. Communication between HomeGroup computers is encrypted with a pre-shared password.[105]
  2. A certain file or folder can be shared with the entire HomeGroup (anyone who joins) or a certain person only.[105]
  3. HomeGroup computers can also be a member of a Windows domain or Windows workgroup at the same time and take advantage of those file sharing mechanisms.[107]
  4. Only computers that support HomeGroup (Windows 7 to Windows 10 version 1709) can join the network.[99][107]
Windows Firewall

Windows 7 adds support for multiple firewall profiles. The Windows Firewall in Windows Vista dynamically changes which network traffic is allowed or blocked based on the location of the computer (based on which network it is connected to). This approach falls short if the computer is connected to more than one network at the same time (as for a computer with both an Ethernet and a wireless interface). In this case, Vista applies the profile that is more secure to all network connections. This is often not desirable; Windows 7 resolves this by being able to apply a separate firewall profile to each network connection.

DNSSEC

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 introduce support for Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC),[108] a set of specifications for securing certain kinds of information provided by the Domain Name System (DNS) as used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. DNSSEC employs digital signatures to ensure the authenticity of DNS data received from a DNS server, which protect against DNS cache poisoning attacks.

Management features
Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)

Windows 7 contains Windows PowerShell 2.0 out-of-the-box, which is also available as a download to install on older platforms:[109]

  • Windows Troubleshooting Platform
  • Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment
  • PowerShell Remoting

Other new management features include:

  • AppLocker (a set of Group Policy settings that evolved from Software Restriction Policies, to restrict which applications can run on a corporate network, including the ability to restrict based on the application's version number or publisher)
  • Group Policy Preferences (also available as a download for Windows XP and Windows Vista).
  • The Windows Automation API (also available as a download for Windows XP and Windows Vista).
Upgraded components
WordPad in Windows 7

Windows 7 includes Internet Explorer 8,[110] .NET Framework 3.5 SP1,[111] Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5,[112] Windows Installer 5.0 and a standalone XPS Viewer.[113][114] Paint, Calculator, Resource Monitor and WordPad have also been updated.

Paint features a Ribbon interface similar to the one introduced in Office 2007, and also sports several new features.

Calculator has been rewritten, with multiline capabilities including Programmer and Statistics modes, unit conversion, and date calculations. Calculator was also given a graphical facelift, the first since Windows 95 in 1995 and Windows NT 4.0 in 1996.

WordPad also features the new Ribbon user interface. WordPad supports Office Open XML and ODF file formats.[115]

Resource Monitor includes an improved RAM usage display and supports display of TCP/IP ports being listened to, filtering processes using networking, filtering processes with disk activity and listing and searching process handles (e.g. files used by a process) and loaded modules (files required by an executable file, e.g. DLL files).

Microsoft Magnifier, an accessibility utility for low vision users has been dramatically improved. Magnifier now supports the full screen zoom feature, whereas previous Windows versions had the Magnifier attached to the top of the screen in a dock layout. The new full screen feature is enabled by default, however, it requires Windows Aero for the advantage of the full screen zoom feature. If Windows is set to the Windows 7 Basic, Windows Classic, or High Contrast themes, Magnifier will still function like it did in Windows Vista and earlier.

Windows Installer 5.0 supports installing and configuring Windows Services,[116] and provides developers with more control over setting permissions during software installation.[117] Neither of these features will be available for prior versions of Windows; custom actions to support these features will continue to be required for Windows Installer packages that need to implement these features.

Other features
  • Windows 7 improves the Tablet PC Input Panel to make faster corrections using new gestures, supports text prediction in the soft keyboard and introduces a new Math Input Panel for inputting math into programs that support MathML.[118] It recognizes handwritten math expressions and formulas. Additional language support for handwriting recognition can be gained by installing the respective MUI pack for that language (also called language pack).
  • Windows 7 introduces a new Problem Steps Recorder tool that enables users to record their interaction with software for analysis and support. The feature can be used to replicate a problem to show support when and where a problem occurred.[119]
  • As opposed to the blank start-up screen in Windows Vista, Windows 7's start-up screen consists of an animation featuring four colored light balls (one red, one yellow, one green, and one blue). They twirl around for a few seconds and then join together to form a glowing Windows logo. This only occurs on displays with a vertical resolution of 768 pixels or higher, as the animation is 1024x768. Any screen with a resolution below this displays the same startup screen that Vista used.
  • The Starter Edition of Windows 7 can run an unlimited number of applications, compared to only 3 in Windows Vista Starter. Microsoft had initially intended to ship Windows 7 Starter Edition with this limitation, but announced after the release of the Release Candidate that this restriction would not be imposed in the final release.[120]
  • For developers, Windows 7 includes a new networking API with support for building SOAP-based web services in native code (as opposed to .NET-based WCF web services),[121] new features to shorten application install times, reduced UAC prompts, simplified development of installation packages,[122] and improved globalization support through a new Extended Linguistic Services API.[123]
  • If an application crashes twice in a row, Windows 7 will automatically attempt to apply a shim. If an application fails to install a similar self-correcting fix, a tool that asks some questions about the application launches.[124]
  • Windows 7 includes an optional TIFF IFilter that enables indexing of TIFF documents by reading them with optical character recognition (OCR), thus making their text content searchable. TIFF iFilter supports Adobe TIFF Revision 6.0 specifications and four compression schemes: LZW, JPEG, CCITT v4, CCITT v6[125]
  • The Windows Console now adheres to the current Windows theme, instead of showing controls from the Windows Classic theme.
  • Games Internet Spades, Internet Backgammon and Internet Checkers, which were removed from Windows Vista, were restored in Windows 7.
  • Users can disable many more Windows components than was possible in Windows Vista. The new components which can now be disabled include: Handwriting Recognition, Internet Explorer, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Fax and Scan, Windows Gadget Platform Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Windows Search, and the XPS Viewer (with its services).[126]
  • Windows XP Mode is a fully functioning copy of 32-bit Windows XP Professional SP3 running in a virtual machine in Windows Virtual PC (as opposed to Hyper-V) running on top of Windows 7. Through the use of the RDP protocol, it allows applications incompatible with Windows 7 to be run on the underlying Windows XP virtual machine, but still to appear to be part of the Windows 7 desktop,[127] thereby sharing the native Start Menu of Windows 7 as well as participating in file type associations. It is not distributed with Windows 7 media, but is offered as a free download to users of the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions from Microsoft's web site. Users of Home Premium who want Windows XP functionality on their systems can download Windows Virtual PC free of charge, but must provide their own licensed copy of Windows XP. XP Mode is intended for consumers rather than enterprises, as it offers no central management capabilities. Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (Med-V) is available for the enterprise market.
  • Native support for Hyper-V virtual machines through the inclusion of VMBus integration drivers.[128]
  • The memory manager is optimized to mitigate the problem of total memory consumption in the event of excessive cached read operations, which occurred on earlier releases of 64-bit Windows.[129]
  • AVCHD camera support and Universal Video Class 1.1
  • Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA) for TV tuner cards, first implemented in Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 for Windows Vista.
  • Support for up to 256 logical processors[130]
  • Fewer hardware locks and greater parallelism[131]
  • Timer coalescing: modern processors and chipsets can switch to very low power usage levels while the CPU is idle. In order to reduce the number of times the CPU enters and exits idle states, Windows 7 introduces the concept of "timer coalescing"; multiple applications or device drivers which perform actions on a regular basis can be set to occur at once, instead of each action being performed on their own schedule. This facility is available in both kernel mode, via the KeSetCoalesableTimer API (which would be used in place of KeSetTimerEx), and in user mode with the SetWaitableTimerEx Windows API call (which replaces SetWaitableTimer).[132]
  • Multi-function devices and Device Containers: Prior to Windows 7, every device attached to the system was treated as a single functional end-point, known as a devnode, that has a set of capabilities and a "status". While this is appropriate for single-function devices (such as a keyboard or scanner), it does not accurately represent multi-function devices such as a combined printer, fax machine, and scanner, or web-cams with a built-in microphone. In Windows 7, the drivers and status information for multi-function device can be grouped together as a single "Device Container", which is presented to the user in the new "Devices and Printers" Control Panel as a single unit. This capability is provided by a new Plug and Play property, ContainerID, which is a Globally Unique Identifier that is different for every instance of a physical device. The Container ID can be embedded within the device by the manufacturer, or created by Windows and associated with each devnode when it is first connected to the computer. In order to ensure the uniqueness of the generated Container ID, Windows will attempt to use information unique to the device, such as a MAC address or USB serial number. Devices connected to the computer via USB, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), eSATA, PCI Express, Bluetooth, and Windows Rally's PnP-X support can make use of Device Containers.[133]
  • User-Mode Scheduling: The 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 introduce a user-mode scheduling framework.[134] On Microsoft Windows operating systems, scheduling of threads inside a process is handled by the kernel. While for most applications this is sufficient, applications with large concurrent threading requirements, such as a database server, can benefit from having a thread scheduler in-process. This is because the kernel no longer needs to be involved in context switches between threads, and it obviates the need for a thread pool mechanism as threads can be created and destroyed much more quickly when no kernel context switches are required.
  • Windows 7 will also contain a new FireWire (IEEE 1394) stack that fully supports IEEE 1394b with S800, S1600 and S3200 data rates.[135][136]
  • The ability to join a domain offline.[137]
  • Service Control Manager in conjunction with the Windows Task Scheduler supports trigger-start services.[138]
See also
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  129. "Too Much Cache?". NT Debugging blog. Microsoft Corporation. MSDN Blogs. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
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  132. "Windows Timer Coalescing". Microsoft. January 20, 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
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  138. Trigger Started Services: Channel9 Video
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Features new to Windows 7

topic

Features new to Windows 7

Some of the new features included in Windows 7 are advancements in touch, speech,[1] and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, support for additional file formats, improved performance on multi-core processors,[2] improved boot performance, and kernel improvements. Shell and user interface Windows 7 retains the Windows Aero graphical user interface and visual style introduced in the operating system's predecessor, Windows Vista, but many areas have seen enhancements. Unlike Windows Vista, window borders and the taskbar do not turn opaque when a window is maximized when Windows Aero is active; instead, they remain translucent. Desktop The Desktop Slideshow feature in Windows 7. Themes Support for themes has been extended in Windows 7.[3] In addition to providing options to customize colors of window chrome and other aspects of the interface, including the desktop background, desktop icons, mouse cursors, and sound schemes, the operating system also includes a native desktop slides ...more...

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Features new to Windows 8

topic

Features new to Windows 8

The transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 introduced a number of new features across various aspects of the operating system. These include a greater focus on optimizing the operating system for touchscreen-based devices (such as tablets) and cloud computing. Development platform Language and standards support Snap feature: Xbox Music app, along Photos app snapped into a sidebar to the right side of the screen Windows 8 introduces the new Windows Runtime (WinRT) platform, which can be used to create a new type of application officially known as Windows Store apps and commonly called Metro-style apps. Such apps run within a secure sandbox and share data with other apps through common APIs. WinRT, being a COM-based API, allows for the use of various programming languages to code apps, including C++, C++/CX, C#, Visual Basic .NET, or HTML5 and JavaScript.[1][2] Metro-style apps are packaged and distributed via APPX, a new file format for package management.[3] Unlike desktop applications, Metro-style apps ...more...

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Features new to Windows XP

topic

Features new to Windows XP

Windows XP introduced many features not found in previous versions of Windows. User interface and appearance Graphics With the introduction of Windows XP, the C++ based software-only GDI+ subsystem was introduced to replace certain GDI functions. GDI+ adds anti-aliased 2D graphics, textures, floating point coordinates, gradient shading, more complex path management, bicubic filtering, intrinsic support for modern graphics-file formats like JPEG and PNG, and support for composition of affine transformations in the 2D view pipeline. GDI+ uses ARGB values to represent color. Use of these features is apparent in Windows XP's user interface (transparent desktop icon labels, drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, shadows under menus, translucent blue selection rectangle in Windows Explorer, sliding task panes and taskbar buttons), and several of its applications such as Microsoft Paint, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Photo Printing Wizard, My Pictures Slideshow screensaver, and their presence in the basic ...more...

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Features new to Windows 10

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Features new to Windows 10

Windows 10 introduced a number of new elements, including the option to use a touch-optimized interface (known as tablet mode) or a traditional desktop interface similar to that of Windows 7 along with live tiles from Windows 8. However, unlike previous versions of Windows, where most, if not all, major features for that release were completed by its RTM, Windows 10 continues to receive major features and changes beyond its initial release to market. Microsoft describes Windows 10 as an 'operating system as a service' that will receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality. This is supplemented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, and to use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of support.[1] Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, argued that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows ...more...

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Features new to Windows Vista

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Features new to Windows Vista

Compared with previous versions of Microsoft Windows, new features of Windows Vista are numerous, covering most aspects of the operating system. They include new technical features, new aspects of security and safety, new networking features, new I/O technologies, and additional management features. Windows Aero Windows Aero, Windows Vista's graphical user interface Premium editions of Windows Vista include a redesigned user interface and visual style, named Windows Aero (Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open).[1] Aero is intended to be cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing than previous Windows versions, including glass-like transparencies and window animations. Windows Aero also features a new default font (Segoe UI) with a slightly larger size, a streamlined style for wizards, and a change in the tone and phrasing of most of the dialogs and control panels. In addition to the Windows Aero visual style, Windows Vista Home Basic exclusively includes a "Windows Vista Standard" theme which has the s ...more...

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Windows Server 2008 R2

topic

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing (RTM) on July 22, 2009[4] and launched on October 22, 2009.[5] According to the Windows Server Blog, the retail availability was September 14, 2009.[6] It is built on the same kernel used with the client-oriented Windows 7. It is the first 64-bit–only operating system released from Microsoft. Enhancements include new functionality for Active Directory, new virtualization and management features, version 7.5 of the Internet Information Services (IIS) web server and support for up to 256[7] logical processors. There are seven editions: Foundation, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web, HPC Server and Itanium, as well as Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. History Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2008 R2 at the 2008 Professional Developers Conference as the server variant of Windows 7. On January 7, 2009, a beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2 was made available to subscribers of Microsoft's TechNet a ...more...

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List of features removed in Windows 7

topic

List of features removed in Windows 7

Windows 7 contains many new features. However, similarly to the transition from Windows XP to Windows Vista, certain capabilities and programs that are present in Windows Vista are no longer present in Windows 7 or have changed. The following is a list of features that originated in earlier versions of Windows and included up to Windows Vista. Windows Shell Windows Explorer Windows 7 removes the "Customize" tab for a folder if its properties are opened via Libraries. If the same folder is opened in Explorer without accessing it via Libraries, the Customize tab is available in its Properties. The Registry settings for modified colors for compressed files, EFS-encrypted files, item hot-tracking (single click hover) etc. are ignored by the ItemsView control in Windows 7 Explorer. Running Explorer shell as administrator or even opening an Explorer window temporarily as administrator is not possible in Windows 7 without modifying permissions in the registry of system values because of a DCOM restriction. Co ...more...

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Windows 7

topic

Windows 7

Windows 7 (codenamed Vienna, formerly Blackcomb[7]) is a personal computer operating system developed by Microsoft. It is a part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. Windows 7 was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009 and became generally available on October 22, 2009,[8] less than three years after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows 7's server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2, was released at the same time. Windows 7 was primarily intended to be an incremental upgrade to the operating system, intended to address Windows Vista's poor critical reception while maintaining hardware and software compatibility. Windows 7 continued improvements on Windows Aero (the user interface introduced in Windows Vista) with the addition of a redesigned taskbar that allows applications to be "pinned" to it, and new window management features. Other new features were added to the operating system, including libraries, the new file sharing system HomeGroup, and support for multitouch input. ...more...

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Windows 7 editions

topic

Windows 7 editions

Windows 7, a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system, was available in six different editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Only Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate were widely available at retailers.[1] The other editions focus on other markets, such as the software development world or enterprise use. All editions support 32-bit IA-32 CPUs and all editions except Starter support 64-bit x64 CPUs. 64-bit installation media is not included in Home-Basic edition packages, but can be obtained separately from Microsoft. According to Microsoft, the features for all editions of Windows 7 are stored on the machine, regardless of which edition is in use.[2] Users who wish to upgrade to an edition of Windows 7 with more features could use Windows Anytime Upgrade to purchase the upgrade and to unlock the features of those editions.[1][2][3] Microsoft announced Windows 7 pricing information for some editions on June 25, 2009, and Windows Anytime Upgrade ...more...

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Windows Server 2012

topic

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012, codenamed "Windows Server 8",[4] is the sixth release of Windows Server. It is the server version of Windows 8 and succeeds Windows Server 2008 R2. Two pre-release versions, a developer preview and a beta version, were released during development. The software was generally available to customers starting on September 4, 2012.[5] Unlike its predecessor, Windows Server 2012 has no support for Itanium-based computers,[6] and has four editions. Various features were added or improved over Windows Server 2008 R2 (with many placing an emphasis on cloud computing), such as an updated version of Hyper-V, an IP address management role, a new version of Windows Task Manager, and ReFS, a new file system. Windows Server 2012 received generally good reviews in spite of having included the same controversial Metro-based user interface seen in Windows 8. The successor to Windows Server 2012, called Windows Server 2012 R2, was released along with Windows 8.1 in October 2013. A service pack, formally d ...more...

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Windows Server 2016

topic

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 is a server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems, developed concurrently with Windows 10. The first early preview version (Technical Preview) became available on 1 October 2014 together with the first technical preview of System Center.[6] Windows Server 2016 was released on 26 September 2016 at Microsoft's Ignite conference[1] and became generally available on 12 October 2016.[2] It has two successors: Windows Server 2019, and the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel, which excludes the graphical user interface and many older components. Features Windows Server 2016 has a variety of new features, including Active Directory Federation Services: It is possible to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in non-AD directories, such as X.500 compliant Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories and SQL databases.[7] Windows Defender: Windows Server Antimalware is installed and enabled by default without the GUI, w ...more...

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List of features removed in Windows Vista

topic

List of features removed in Windows Vista

While Windows Vista contains many new features, a number of capabilities and certain programs that were a part of previous Windows versions up to Windows XP were removed or changed – some of which were later re-introduced in Windows 7. The following is a list of features which were present in Windows XP but were removed in Windows Vista. Windows Explorer Windows Briefcase no longer allows synchronizing items across multiple computers and a removable media device. If hidden files are not allowed to be shown in Windows Explorer, the Status bar does not report how many hidden files are present. In addition, if all items within a folder are selected at once (by pressing Ctrl+A or Select all), the user is not alerted to hidden files being selected. Even after setting the ForceCopyAclwithFile and MoveSecurityAttributes values as documented in KB310316,[1] permissions are not retained/copied when Windows Explorer is used to copy or move objects across volumes or in the same volume.[2][3] A hotfix is available ...more...

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Windows Phone 7

topic

Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is the first release of the Windows Phone mobile client operating system, released worldwide on October 21, 2010, and in the United States on November 8, 2010. It received multiple large updates, the last being Windows Phone 7.8, which was released in January 2013 and added a few features backported from Windows Phone 8, such as a more customizable start screen. Microsoft ended support for Windows Phone 7 on October 14, 2014.[1] It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8, which was released on October 29, 2012. History Microsoft officially unveiled the new operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 15, 2010,[2] and revealed additional details at MIX 2010 on March 15, 2010. The final SDK was made available on September 16, 2010.[3] HP later decided not to build devices for Windows Phone, citing that it wanted to focus on devices for its newly purchased webOS.[4] As its original name was criticized for being too complex and "wordy", the name of t ...more...

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Windows Aero

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Windows Aero

A glass-like window border effect of Windows Aero Windows Aero (a backronym for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open),[1] also known as Aero Peek, is a design language introduced in the Windows Vista operating system. The changes made in the Aero interface affected many elements of the Windows interface, including the incorporation of a new look, along with changes in interface guidelines reflecting appearance, layout, and the phrasing and tone of instructions and other text in applications. Windows Aero was in force during the development of Windows Vista and Windows 7. In 2012, with the development of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Microsoft moved on to a design language codenamed "Metro". History Windows Vista The Aero interface was unveiled for Windows Vista as a complete redesign of the Windows interface, replacing Windows XP's "Luna" theme. Until the release of Windows Vista Beta 1 in July 2005, little had been shown of Aero in public or leaked builds. Previous user interfaces were Plex, ...more...

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Security and safety features new to Windows Vista

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Security and safety features new to Windows Vista

There are a number of security and safety features new to Windows Vista, most of which are not available in any prior Microsoft Windows operating system release. Beginning in early 2002 with Microsoft's announcement of its Trustworthy Computing initiative, a great deal of work has gone into making Windows Vista a more secure operating system than its predecessors. Internally, Microsoft adopted a "Security Development Lifecycle"[1] with the underlying ethos of "Secure by design, secure by default, secure in deployment". New code for Windows Vista was developed with the SDL methodology, and all existing code was reviewed and refactored to improve security. Some specific areas where Windows Vista introduces new security and safety mechanisms include User Account Control, parental controls, Network Access Protection, a built-in anti-malware tool, and new digital content protection mechanisms. User Account Control User Account Control is a new infrastructure that requires user consent before allowing any actio ...more...

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Windows Phone

topic

Windows Phone

Windows Phone (WP) is a family of discontinued[6] mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones as the replacement successor to Windows Mobile[7][8] and Zune.[9] Windows Phone features a new user interface derived from Metro design language. Unlike Windows Mobile, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market.[10] It was first launched in October 2010 with Windows Phone 7.[11] Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest public release of the operating system, released to manufacturing on April 14, 2014.[12][13] Windows Phone was replaced by Windows 10 Mobile in 2015; it emphasizes a larger amount of integration and unification with its PC counterpart—including a new, unified application ecosystem, along with an expansion of its scope to include small-screened tablets.[14] On October 8, 2017, Joe Belfiore announced that work on Windows 10 Mobile was drawing to a close due to lack of market penetration and resultant lack of interest from app developers.[15] History Dev ...more...

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Microsoft Windows version history

topic

Microsoft Windows version history

Microsoft Windows was announced by Bill Gates on November 10, 1983.[1] Microsoft introduced Windows as a graphical user interface for MS-DOS, which had been introduced a couple of years earlier. In the 1990s, the product line evolved from an operating environment into a fully complete, modern operating system over two lines of development, each with their own separate codebase. The first versions of Windows (1.0 through to 3.11) were graphical shells that run from MS-DOS; later on, Windows 95, though still being based on MS-DOS, was its own operating system, using a 16-bit DOS-based kernel and a 32-bit user space. Windows 95 introduced many features that have been part of the product ever since, including the Start menu, the taskbar, and Windows Explorer (renamed File Explorer in Windows 8). In 1997, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 which included the (at the time) controversial Windows Desktop Update. It aimed to integrate Internet Explorer and the web into the user interface and also brought many new ...more...

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List of features removed in Windows 8

topic

List of features removed in Windows 8

Windows 8 is a version of Windows NT and the successor of Windows 7. Several features which are present on Windows Vista and Windows 7 are no longer present on Windows 8. Windows shell Start button was removed from the taskbar (although it was re-added in Windows 8.1). Replacement methods for invoking Start screen include a hotspot in the lower left corner of the screen, where the Start screen tile pops up, and a Start button among "the charms".[1] "Recent documents" menu is removed from Start screen.[2] Windows 8.1 no longer automatically adds newly installed programs to Start screen.[3] Unified search is removed. A category-specific search replaces the former. It can search "Apps", "Settings", "Files" or within an app-specific index (such as, for example, e-mails from the Mail app) but not all at once. The default category is Apps, but can be changed before or after performing a search.[4] Windows 8.1 restores this feature partially although unified search still does not search keywords or metadat ...more...

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Windows 10 editions

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Windows 10 editions

Windows 10 has twelve editions, all with varying feature sets, use cases, or intended devices. Certain editions are distributed only on devices directly from a device manufacturer, while editions such as Enterprise and Education are only available through volume licensing channels. Microsoft also makes editions of Windows 10 available to device manufacturers for use on specific classes of devices, including smartphones (Windows 10 Mobile) and IoT devices. Baseline editions Baseline editions are the only editions available as standalone purchases in the retail outlets. Home Windows 10 Home is designed for use in PCs, tablets and 2-in-1 PCs. It includes all consumer-directed features.[1][2][3] Pro Windows 10 Pro adds additional features that are oriented towards business environments and power users. It is functionally equivalent to Windows 8.1 Pro.[1][2][3] Organizational editions These editions add features to facilitate centralized control of many installations of the OS within an organization. The m ...more...

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Windows Embedded Compact 7

topic

Windows Embedded Compact 7

Windows Embedded Compact 7 (formerly known as Windows Embedded CE 7.0) is the seventh major release of Windows Embedded CE operating system. Windows Embedded Compact 7 is a real-time OS, separate from the Windows NT line, and is designed to target enterprise specific tools such as industrial controllers and consumer electronics devices such as digital cameras, GPS systems and also automotive infotainment systems. Windows Embedded Compact is designed to run on multiple CPU architectures and supports x86, SH (automotive only),[2][3] and ARM. During development, a Microsoft employee working in this division claimed that Microsoft was working hard on this release and that it shares the underlying kernel with Windows Phone.[4] Microsoft officially confirmed this and said that Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 with some features borrowed from Windows Embedded Compact 7, thus making it a hybrid solution.[5] Windows Embedded Compact 7 was released on March 1, 2011.[6] New features Windows Embed ...more...

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Technical features new to Windows Vista

topic

Technical features new to Windows Vista

Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Windows "Longhorn") has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. In addition to the new user interface, security capabilities, and developer technologies, several major components of the core operating system were redesigned, most notably the audio, print, display, and networking subsystems; while the results of this work will be visible to software developers, end-users will only see what appear to be evolutionary changes in the user interface. As part of the redesign of the networking architecture, IPv6 has been incorporated into the operating system, and a number of performance improvements have been introduced, such as TCP window scaling. Prior versions of Windows typically needed third-party wireless networking software to work properly; this is no longer the case with Windows Vista, as it includes comprehensive wireless networking support. For graphics, Windows Vista introduces a n ...more...

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Microsoft family features

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Microsoft family features

Microsoft family features (includes family safety features formerly known as Microsoft Family Safety, formerly Parental Controls in Windows 7 and Vista), is a free set of features available on Windows 10 PC and Mobile that is bundled with the Windows 10 operating system. Starting in Windows 10, a Microsoft Account is required to use the Microsoft family features. A parent can manage settings for a child if both of their Microsoft Accounts are in the same family. When parents turn on settings for their child, these settings are applied to every device that the child logs into with that Microsoft Account.[1] Other changes to family safety features in Windows 10 include Windows Store purchase controls and the ability to find a child’s Windows 10 Mobile device on a map.[2] History Microsoft has offered family safety features since March 2006 when a preview of Windows Live OneCare Family Safety was first offered to 3000 beta testers. After over a year and a half of testing, the final version was released on No ...more...

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Windows Server 2008

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Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 is the second major release of the Windows Server family of operating systems for server computers. Developed by Microsoft, it was released to manufacturing on February 4, 2008, and reached general availability on February 27, 2008. It is the successor of Windows Server 2003, released nearly five years earlier. History Originally known as Windows Server Codename "Longhorn", Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced its official title (Windows Server 2008) during his keynote address at WinHEC 16 May 2007.[5] Beta 1 was released on 27 July 2005, Beta 2 was announced and released on 23 May 2006 at WinHEC 2006 and Beta 3 was released publicly on 25 April 2007.[6] Release Candidate 0 was released to the general public on 24 September 2007[7] and Release Candidate 1 was released to the general public on 5 December 2007. Windows Server 2008 was released to manufacturing on 4 February 2008 and officially launched on 27 February 2008.[8] Features Windows Server 2008 is built from the same code b ...more...

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Windows 10

topic

Windows 10

Windows 10 (codenamed Redstone, formerly Threshold) is a personal computer operating system developed and released by Microsoft, as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released on July 29, 2015.[9] It is the first version of Windows that receives ongoing feature updates. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.[10][11] Windows 10 introduces what Microsoft described as "universal apps"; expanding on Metro-style apps, these apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍—‌including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Mixed Reality. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices‍—‌particularly on 2-in-1 ...more...

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Windows Movie Maker

topic

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker (formerly known as Windows Live Movie Maker[4] in Windows 7) is a video editing software by Microsoft. It is a part of Windows Essentials software suite and offers the ability to create and edit videos as well as to publish them on OneDrive, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr. Movie Maker was officially discontinued on January 10, 2017 and it is replaced by Windows Story Remix which is built with Photos. History Initial releases The first release of Windows Movie Maker was included with Windows ME on September 14, 2000. Version 1.1 was included in Windows XP a year later, and included support for creating DV AVI and WMV 8 files. Version 2.0 was released as a free update in November 2002, and added a number of new features. Version 2.1, a minor update, is included in Windows XP Service Pack 2. The Movie Maker in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 had more transitions and support for DVD burning. Windows Vista The next version of Movie Maker was released as part of Windows Vista an ...more...

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Windows Virtual PC

topic

Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC (successor to Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, and Connectix Virtual PC) is a virtualization program for Microsoft Windows. In July 2006 Microsoft released the Windows version as a free product.[3] In August 2006, Microsoft announced the Macintosh version would not be ported to Intel-based Macintosh computers, effectively discontinuing the product as PowerPC-based Macintosh computers are no longer manufactured. The newest release, Windows Virtual PC, does not run on versions of Windows earlier than Windows 7, and does not officially support MS-DOS or operating systems earlier than Windows XP Professional SP3 as guests.[2] The older versions, which support a wider range of host and guest operating systems, remain available. Starting with Windows 8, Hyper-V supersedes Windows Virtual PC. Virtual PC virtualizes a standard IBM PC compatible device and its associated hardware. Supported Windows operating systems can run inside Virtual PC. Other operating systems such as Lin ...more...

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Windows Embedded CE 6.0

topic

Windows Embedded CE 6.0

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 (codenamed "Yamazaki")[3] is the sixth major release of Microsoft Windows embedded operating system targeted to enterprise specific tools such as industrial controllers and consumer electronics devices like digital cameras. CE 6.0 features a kernel which supports 32,768 processes, up from the 32 process limit of prior versions. Each process receives 2 GB of virtual address space, up from 32 MB. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 was released on November 1, 2006, and includes partial source code.[4] The OS currently serves as the basis for the Zune HD. Windows Mobile 6.5 is based on Windows CE 5.2. Windows Phone 7, the first major release of the Windows Phone operating system, is based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3; although Windows Phone 7 is also using Windows Embedded Compact 7 features.[5] New features Some system components (such as filesystem, GWES (graphics, windowing, events server),[6] device driver manager) have been moved to the kernel space. The system components which now run in ...more...

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Windows Live Mail

topic

Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail (formerly named Windows Live Mail Desktop, code-named Elroy[2]) is a discontinued freeware email client from Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows Mail on Windows Vista, which was the successor to Outlook Express on Windows XP. It is designed to run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 8,[1] and is also compatible with Windows 10.[3] History Version 12 (Wave 2) The first version of Windows Live Mail was released on 6 November 2007. The Windows Live Mail version numbering starts at 12 because this application is an advancement of Windows Mail, not an entirely new application. Windows Live Mail is developed by the same team that wrote Windows Mail. Windows Live Mail has all of the features of Windows Mail. It also adds the following new features: Support for Web-based email accounts including Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail Plus. A different user interface which matches the other Windows Live "Wave 2" applications. Synchronization with Windows Live Contacts. Support fo ...more...

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Windows 8 editions

topic

Windows 8 editions

Windows 8 was released with four editions, with varying feature sets.[1] The editions each with varied features are called Core, Pro, Enterprise, and RT. There are versions of these that features modified for legal or marketing reasons. Editions Windows 8 Windows 8 (also sometimes referred to as Windows 8 (Core) to distinguish from the OS itself)[2] is the basic edition of Windows for the IA-32 and x64 architectures. This edition contains features aimed at the home market segment and provides all of the basic new Windows 8 features. Windows 8 Pro Windows 8 Pro is comparable to Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate[3][4] and is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users; it includes all the features of Windows 8. Additional features include the ability to receive Remote Desktop connections, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, and Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Group Policy as well as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Windows Media Center functionality is avail ...more...

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Management features new to Windows Vista

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Management features new to Windows Vista

Windows Vista contains a range of new technologies and features that are intended to help network administrators and power users better manage their systems. Notable changes include a complete replacement of the "Windows Setup" process, completely rewritten deployment mechanisms, support for per-application Remote Desktop sessions, new diagnostic and health monitoring tools, and a range of new Group Policy settings covering many of the features new to Windows Vista. Other areas of interest include major changes to Task Scheduler, as well as the addition of Subsystem for UNIX Applications, which provides a POSIX-compatible environment for applications as part of the operating system itself. Setup The setup process for Windows Vista has been completely rewritten and is now image-based. Setup is now based on Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) version 2.0, which, amongst other features, runs the entire setup process in a graphical environment, as opposed to the text-based environments of previous vers ...more...

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Windows 8

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Windows 8

Windows 8 is a personal computer operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. Development of Windows 8 started before the release of its predecessor, Windows 7, in 2009. It was announced at CES 2011, and followed by the release of three pre-release versions from September 2011 to May 2012. The operating system was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012, and was released for general availability on October 26, 2012.[5] Windows 8 introduced major changes to the operating system's platform and user interface to improve its user experience on tablets, where Windows was now competing with mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS.[6] In particular, these changes included a touch-optimized Windows shell based on Microsoft's "Metro" design language, the Start screen (which displays programs and dynamically updated content on a grid of tiles), a new platform for developing "apps" with an emphasis on touchscreen input, integration with online services ( ...more...

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List of features removed in Windows XP

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List of features removed in Windows XP

As the next version of Windows NT after Windows 2000, as well as the successor to Windows Me, Windows XP introduced many new features but it also removed some others. Following is a list of these. Shell The unsafe device removal dialog was removed.[1] The Line Up Icons command on the desktop is no longer available. It is replaced by the Align to Grid option.[2] Due to this being a toggle, simply aligning desktop icons once without further constraining their placement requires an extra click.[3]:47 The Minimize all windows command on the taskbar is hidden.[3]:76 The purported replacement, Show the desktop, co-existed with this feature on Windows 2000 and in any case only hides windows temporarily instead of actually minimizing them. It is still accessible through the ⊞ Win+M keyboard shortcut but it is not available through the mouse. The Show icons using all possible colors option in Display Properties is no longer available. Icons are always shown using all possible colors. Microsoft states that this ...more...

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Microsoft Windows

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Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows NT and Windows Embedded; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Embedded Compact (Windows CE) or Windows Server. Defunct Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).[5] Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer (PC) market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh (eventually settled in court in Microsoft's favor in 1993). On PC ...more...

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Mail (Windows)

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Mail (Windows)

Mail is an email and newsgroup client developed by Microsoft and included in the Windows Vista, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems.[1][2] The main function of Mail is sending and receiving email.[3] It is a successor to Outlook Express, which was either included with, or released for, the Windows 9x family and older versions of the Windows NT family. Windows Mail was announced by Microsoft as the successor to Outlook Express on October 10, 2005, via its community website Channel 9.[4] This initial version featured fundamental changes and a new user interface, but not as much in the way of new features.[5] Windows Vista A screenshot of Windows Mail displaying a user's Inbox folder The origins of Windows Mail can be traced back to a pre-release version of Outlook Express 7 included in early builds of Windows Vista, then known by its codename, "Longhorn." This version of Outlook Express introduced various changes to the user interface[6] and relied on WinFS for the management and storage of contacts and othe ...more...

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Adobe Acrobat version history

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Adobe Acrobat version history

See Adobe Acrobat for full details on this product. Acrobat Adobe Acrobat and Reader Adobe Acrobat and Reader Version Release date Notes OS Features 1.0 15 June 1993 Acrobat Reader priced originally at $50 per user.[1] DOS 2.0 September 1994 First version compatible with MacOS Windows/Mac Acrobat Catalog, which creates searchable indexes for PDF files Adobe also released the first Acrobat Plug-ins SDK; allowing third party developers to create plug-in programs for the Acrobat Exchange application. 3.0 November 1996 First version compatible with Windows 95; last version to support Windows 3.1x Windows/Mac 4.0 April 1999 Last version to support Windows NT 3.51 Windows/Mac Support for PDF version 1.3 5.0 May 2001 Last version to support Windows 95, Windows 98 First Edition and Mac OS 9. Windows/Mac Support for PDF version 1.4 6.0 July 2003 Adobe Acrobat Reader was renamed Adobe Reader. Version 6 was criticized for its performance. Adobe Acrobat 6 ...more...

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Windows Vista

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Windows Vista

Windows Vista (codenamed Longhorn[7]) is an operating system by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs. Development was completed on November 8, 2006,[2] and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide[3] and was made available for purchase and download from the Windows Marketplace.[8] The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems. New features of Windows Vista include an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Aero, a new search component called Windows Search, redesigned networking, audio, print and display sub-systems, and new multimedia tools such as Windows DVD Maker. Vista aimed to increase the level ...more...

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Windows ME

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Windows ME

Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows ME (marketed with the pronunciation of the pronoun "me",[5] commonly pronounced as an initialism, "M-E (Codenamed Millennium)", is a graphical operating system from Microsoft released to manufacturing in June 2000, and launched in September 2000. It was the last operating system released in the Windows 9x series. Windows ME was the successor to Windows 98 and was targeted specifically at home PC users.[6] It included Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 7, and the new Windows Movie Maker software, which provided basic video editing and was designed to be easy to use for home users. Microsoft also updated the graphical user interface, shell features, and Windows Explorer in Windows ME with some of those first introduced in Windows 2000, which had been released as a business-oriented operating system seven months earlier. Windows ME could be upgraded to Internet Explorer 6 SP1 (but not to SP2 (SV1) or Internet Explorer 7), Outlook Express 6 SP1 and Windows Media Pl ...more...

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Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions

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Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions

Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of computer software operating systems created by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). All versions of Microsoft Windows are commercial proprietary software. General information Basic general information about Windows. DOS shells Name Release date Latest version Status support Codename OS required Architecture Editions Target market Windows 1.0 1985-11-20 1.04 (1987-04-08) Unsupported(2001-12-31) Interface Manager DOS 2.0 or higher 16-bit Desktops Windows 2.0 1987-09-08 2.03 (1987-12-09) Unsupported(2001-12-31) ? 16-bit Desktops Windows 2.1x 1988-05-27 2.11 (1989-03-13) Unsupported(2001-12-31) ? 16-bit Desktops Windows 3.0 1990-05-22 3.0a withMultimedia Extensions(1991-10-20) Unsupported(2001-12-31) DOS 3.1 or higher 16-bit Windows 3.0Wind ...more...

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List of features removed in Windows Phone

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List of features removed in Windows Phone

While Windows Phone contains many new features, a number of capabilities and certain programs that were a part of previous versions up to Windows Mobile 6.5 were removed or changed.[1][2] Until Windows Phone 6.5, the previous version did always cover the complete feature range of the predecessor version. The following is a list of features which were present in Windows Mobile 6.5 but were removed in Windows Phone 7.0. Calling The list of past phone calls is now a single list, and cannot be separated into inbound, outbound or missed calls[3] Sync Windows Phone does not support USB sync with Microsoft Outlook's Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes as opposed to older versions of Windows Mobile with Desktop ActiveSync.[4][5] Syncing Contacts and Appointments is done via cloud-based services (Windows Live, Google, or Exchange Server), and no method to sync this information directly with a PC is provided.[6] Third party software, such as Akruto Sync, provides some of this functionality.[7][8] A petition to ...more...

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Windows 10 version history

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Windows 10 version history

Windows 10 is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Microsoft described Windows 10 as an "operating system as a service" that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, augmented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their five-year lifespan of mainstream support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, said that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform.[1] Rings Overview Version Code name Marketing name Release date Support until Latest build SAC Home Pro SAC Ent Edu LTSC Mobile PC Mobile 1507 Threshold 1 N/A July 29, 2015 May 9, 2017 May 9, 2017 October 14, 2025 N/A Older version, yet still supported: 10240 N/A 1511 Threshold 2 November Update November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017 April 10, 2 ...more...

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Outlook.com

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Outlook.com

Outlook.com is a web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services from Microsoft. One of the world's first webmail services,[3] it was founded in 1996 as Hotmail (stylized as HoTMaiL) by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in Mountain View, California, and headquartered in Sunnyvale.[4][5] Microsoft acquired Hotmail in 1997 for an estimated $400 million, calling it MSN Hotmail, later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail as part of the Windows Live suite of products.[2][6] Microsoft released the final version of Hotmail in October 2011, available in 36 languages.[7][8][9] It was replaced by Microsoft's Outlook.com in 2013. History Launch of Hotmail Hotmail service was founded by Sabeer Bhatia[10] and Jack Smith, and was one of the first webmail services on the Internet along with Four11's RocketMail (later Yahoo! Mail). It was commercially launched on July 4, 1996, symbolizing "freedom" from ISP-based email[11] and the ability to access a user's inbox from anywhere in the world. The name "Hotmail" ...more...

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Windows Server 2003

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Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft and released on April 24, 2003.[8] It was a successor of Windows 2000 Server and incorporated some of Windows XP's features. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2, was released to manufacturing on December 6, 2005. Its successor, Windows Server 2008, was released on February 4, 2008. Windows Server 2003's kernel was later adopted in the development of Windows Vista.[9] Overview Windows Server 2003 is the follow-up to Windows 2000 Server, incorporating compatibility and other features from Windows XP. Unlike Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003's default installation has none of the server components enabled, to reduce the attack surface of new machines. Windows Server 2003 includes compatibility modes to allow older applications to run with greater stability. It was made more compatible with Windows NT 4.0 domain-based networking. Windows Server 2003 brought in enhanced Active Directory compatibility, and better deployment suppo ...more...

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Windows 10 Mobile

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Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, released in 2015. Although it is the successor of Windows Phone 8.1,[6] it is an edition of Windows 10 running on devices that has less than 9-inch screen, as a result of Microsoft's plans to unify Windows families across multiple device classes.[7] Windows 10 Mobile aims to provide greater consistency with its counterpart for personal computers, including more extensive synchronization of content, a new universal application platform that allows one app to run on multiple Windows 10 devices such as PCs, mobile devices and Xbox, as well as the capability, on supported hardware, to connect devices to an external display and use a "PC-like" interface with mouse and keyboard input support. Microsoft has built tools for developers to easily port some iOS apps with minimal modifications. Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones are eligible for upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.[8] Some features vary depending on ...more...

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Bassam Infotech

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Revolvy User Great article and information. There is one more such school management software. Odoo is a smart school ERP, Admission CRM and mobile app that facilitates cloud-based school management for hassle-free administration saving time and cost.


Windows To Go

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Windows To Go

Windows To Go is a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education that allows them to boot and run from certain USB mass storage devices such as USB flash drives and external hard disk drives which have been certified by Microsoft as compatible.[1] It is a fully manageable corporate Windows environment. It is intended to allow enterprise administrators to provide users with an imaged version of Windows that reflects the corporate desktop. Creation of Windows To Go drives is not officially supported by non-Enterprise (or Education) Windows 8.1 editions;[2] however, Enterprise and Education versions of Windows 10 are supported. Some information has been published describing various ways to install Windows To Go using any version of Windows 8.x and 10 and any bootable USB device.[3][4] History Before Windows 8, only embedded versions of Windows, such as Windows Embedded Standard 7, supported booting from USB storage devices.[5][6] In April 2011, after t ...more...

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Windows XP editions

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Windows XP editions

Windows XP has been released in several editions since its original release in 2001. Windows XP is available in many languages.[1] In addition, add-ons translating the user interface are also available for certain languages.[2] Home and Professional Home and Professional editions: Original box, 2002 Home and Professional editions with Service Pack 2 Diagram representing the main editions of Windows XP, based on the category of the edition (grey) and codebase (black arrow) The first two editions released by Microsoft are Windows XP Home Edition, designed for home users, and Windows XP Professional, designed for business and power users. Windows XP Professional offers a number of features unavailable in the Home Edition, including:[3] The ability to become part of a Windows Server domain, a group of computers that are remotely managed by one or more central servers. An access control scheme that allows specific permissions on files to be granted to specific users under normal circumstances ...more...

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Internet Explorer 10

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Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 10 (Desktop version) in Windows 8, showing Wikipedia Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) is a version of the Internet Explorer web browser released by Microsoft in 2012, and is the default browser in Windows 8. IE10 expands on Internet Explorer 9 functionality with regard to CSS3 support, hardware acceleration,[5] and HTML5 support. On Windows 8, it is divided into two editions with different user interfaces: a Metro app that does not support plug-ins and a traditional desktop application that retains plug-in support.[6] On 64-bit computers, the Metro edition runs in 64-bit mode by default.[7] The desktop edition can be run in 64-bit mode by enabling Enhanced Protected Mode.[8] On April 12, 2011, Microsoft released the first "IE10 Platform Preview", which runs only on Windows 7 and later.[9][10] While the second platform preview was also available for Windows 7 and later, the next four platform previews ran only on Windows 8. The first preview release came four weeks after the final release of ...more...

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Windows XP

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Windows XP

Windows XP (codenamed Whistler) is a personal computer operating system that was produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and broadly released for retail sale on October 25, 2001. Development of Windows XP began in the late 1990s as "Neptune", an operating system built on the Windows NT kernel which was intended specifically for mainstream consumer use. An updated version of Windows 2000 was also originally planned for the business market; however, in January 2000, both projects were shelved in favor of a single OS codenamed "Whistler", which would serve as a single OS platform for both consumer and business markets. As such, Windows XP was the first consumer edition of Windows not to be based on MS-DOS.[5] Upon its release, Windows XP received generally positive reviews, with critics noting increased performance and stability (especially in comparison to Windows ME), a more intuitive user interface, improved hardware s ...more...

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Windows Insider

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Windows Insider

[1] http://insider.windows.com Windows Insider is an open software testing program by Microsoft that allows users who own a valid license of Windows 10[1][2] or Windows Server 2016[3][4] to sign up for pre-release builds of the operating system previously only accessible to developers.[5] Microsoft launched Windows Insider for developers, enterprise testers and the "technically able" to test out new developer features on pre-release software & builds, not given publicly released, to gather low level diagnostics feedback in order to identify, investigate, mitigate & improve the Windows 10 OS, with the help, support and guidance of the Insider Program Participants, in direct communication with Microsoft Engineers via a proprietary communication & diagnostic channel. It was announced on September 30, 2014 along with Windows 10.[6] By September 2015, over 7 million people took part in the Windows Insider Program.[7] On February 12, 2015, Microsoft started to test out previews of Windows 10 Mobi ...more...

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Windows Phone 8

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Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. It was released on October 29, 2012, and like its predecessor, it features a flat user interface based on Metro design language. It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8.1, which was unveiled on April 2, 2014.[3][4] Windows Phone 8 replaces the Windows CE-based architecture used in Windows Phone 7 with the Windows NT kernel found in Windows 8. Current Windows Phone 7 devices cannot run or update to Windows Phone 8 and new applications compiled specifically for Windows Phone 8 are not made available for Windows Phone 7 devices. Developers can make their apps available on both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices by targeting both platforms via the proper SDKs in Visual Studio [5] Windows Phone 8 devices are manufactured by Microsoft Mobile (formerly Nokia), HTC, Samsung and Huawei.[6] History On June 20, 2012, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo), a third generation of the Windows Phone ...more...

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Windows Live Messenger

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Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) is a discontinued instant messaging client developed by Microsoft for Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Java ME, S60 on Symbian OS 9.x, and Zune HD.[1] It connected to the Microsoft Messenger service while also having compatibility with Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook Messenger. The client was first released as MSN Messenger on July 22, 1999, and was marketed under the MSN branding until 2005 when it was rebranded under Windows Live and has since been officially known by its present name, although its previous name was still used colloquially by most of its users.[2][3] In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month, placing Messenger among the most widely used instant messaging clients in the world. Following the acquisition of Skype Technologies in May 2011, Microsoft added interoperability between Skype and Microsoft accounts, allowing Skype (which had features unique to its platform and a wider u ...more...

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