Unlike Vista, which included a number of new applications and an entirely different look and feel than earlier operating systems, Windows 7 is meant to be fully compatible with all aspects of Vista. Some upgrades do make Windows 7 preferable to both Windows XP and Vista, but some aspects are better in the older versions. The time to boot up and shut down the system as well as the speed at which documents and other files open are much improved in Windows 7. But, tasks like video editing remains just as slow as they do in XP and Vista.
While there are new features that are part of Windows 7, the Microsoft team placed much emphasis on ensuring that users would not have major compatibility issues when making the switch. They seemed to have learned their lesson from the difficulties that arose when people moved from Windows XP to Vista. One of the new features includes advances in handwriting recognition, a huge advantage for those who can write faster than they type. The Control Panel has some new additions as well including a color calibration wizard, troubleshooting, and biometric devices. The Windows Security Center has a new name, the Windows Action Center, which houses both security settings as well as computer maintenance.
The changes that will be most noticeable to the average user are those made to the task bar. The Quick Launch toolbar is no longer, and has been replaced by pinning applications to the task bar. Applications that are `pinned` to the task bar are then easily accessible by buttons that become part of the task bar. The set-up of the new task bar allows for easy re-organization and re-ordering of the items on the bar to suit user preference.
Another very useful new feature is called `Aero Peek`. Hovering the mouse over the Aero Peek button, located on the task bar, immediately renders all open windows transparent so that there is a clear view of the desktop. A simple click on the button automatically minimizes all the open...