New in Windows 7 — For XP or Vista Users

If you’re upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP or Windows Vista, you’ll find pleasant improvements with the new features in Windows 7. Here’s how those new features stand out in Windows 7:

  • Search the Start menu: XP users have to hunt for programs on the Start menu. Windows 7 improves upon Vista’s feature for typing into the Start search box what you want to open (program or document name or content). Opening anything could hardly be faster or easier.

  • Taskbar icons: You can now start a program that is pinned to the taskbar (always there). Taskbar icons indicate the number of windows open in a program and the progress in its background activities.

  • Jump lists: With a right-click or click and drag, taskbar icons display lists of recently opened documents and shortcuts to common tasks for that program, such as creating a new document or playing all your music.

  • Fewer UAC alerts: User Account Control security alerts occur much less often than in Vista but still provide essential security from programs you don’t intend to run.

  • Action Center: Security and maintenance alerts appear in the Action Center, making it easier for you to assess your computer’s condition and take appropriate action.

  • Aero Peek: Open windows turn transparent with Aero Peek so that you see through to the desktop, gadgets, and other windows that you might want to switch to (with Alt+Tab).

  • Themes with automatic background changes: Instead of having one static background picture on your desktop, you can use themes to change the picture regularly in a new kind of slideshow on the desktop.

  • Calculator history: Like the paper tape of old, the new calculator displays each of the steps you take in a calculation, and you can copy this history for pasting elsewhere.

  • Device Stage: Devices such as printers and flash drives can display more detailed information and options than ever before.

  • Improved Backup: Windows 7 provides a built-in backup program that can automatically backup your most important documents or your entire computer to a flash drive or portable hard drive.

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