Windows 7 has just turned one year old and it’s a proud moment for Microsoft. Like a proud parent, the Windows Team blogged about it, Celebrating Windows 7 at 1 Year – More than 240 Million Licenses Sold! Along with this achievement, Microsoft’s Windows Team is also doing a sweepstakes where users list 7 of their favorite Windows 7 features.
Here are my 7 favorite Windows 7 features in no particular order since it’s story driven:
- 64-bit Support – I have a beastly laptop with quad-core processors and 8gig of RAM. Windows 7 64-bit support makes this possible and I love it! It allows me to write 64-bit apps and handle those HD videos more easily. With all this power I tend to just start apps, work with it and move on to the next thing without closing them. I don’t think about them until I have to and when I do, I use Resource Monitor.
- Resource Monitor – With Resource Monitor, I can quickly see how the various sub-systems such as CPU, Memory, Disk and Network are doing. If there are blips in responsiveness, I can Analyze Wait Chain and review other metrics it gathers and address it. It is a super useful tool.
- Jump List – I open lots of apps. When I start these applications, I don’t usually left-click the icon on the Taskbar like in the past. I right-click to get the Jump List of common actions, frequently used and pinned items. Wow! 95% of the time, what I need is already there. The other 5% is because not all applications support Jump List fully…yet. Oh, IE9 makes Jump Lists even cooler!
- Aero Snap! – Running many applications can mean many windows. Before Aero Snap, I would spend a lot of time resizing and “organizing” them but not anymore. Now, I snap to the left anything of I reference (view) and snap to the right everything I interact with (edit). It’s so quick and easy; It’s a snap! The Win + (arrow key) shortcut is really fantastic. As a bonus, Windows 7 even remembers the window’s original size and location when I un-snap it.
- Live Taskbar Preview– So I have my windows snapped to the left and right but how do I find them when they’re all stacked on top of each other? Windows 7 offers many great options to do this such as Alt + Tab and Win + Tab but I prefer the Live Taskbar Preview. Instead of sifting through all the windows sequentially, I hover over the app window I’m looking for (like a filter by app) and see a preview of what I want. I hover over the preview itself and I get the actual window with all the other windows in transparent, outline form. Nice! Because the preview feature is “Live”, it reflects the application’s visual state and progress, I can also quickly check on the status of a video encoding or a video file upload by just previewing it.
- Windows Live Writer – Besides writing software and creating HD videos (with Movie Maker), I also blog so I can share the fruits of my labor (Ha ha!). I blog and the best Blogging Client out there is Windows Live Writer 2011. It’s a part of the Windows Live Essentials package which is amazing but I am particularly fond of Writer. It makes writing blogs so easy, both on and offline.
- Windows 7 Themes – And what’s all this worth if it’s not a beautiful place to be? Windows 7 Themes is brilliant and allowing dynamic image feeds like Bing Dynamic is over the top!