Windows 7 RC

Aero Peek shows you even more

Aero Peek, the well-received feature in Windows 7
beta that shows the desktop when you hover over the right edge of the
toolbar, has been added to the program switching hot key Alt+Tab.

More power to the taskbar

Right-click on programs pinned to the taskbar and
you get a slick menu of options, including recently opened files
associated with the program. New in the Windows 7 RC, hold down shift
when you right-click and you'll get a standard Windows context
menu--perfect for opening a file with a different app.

Hide your icons and widgets

Staying on the desktop for one more feature, users
can now toggle viewing their desktop icons and their desktop widgets
through a context menu. Right-click on the desktop and go to View, and
the last two choices will let you hide either icons, widgets, or both.

Media Player goes small with style

The new mini-mode for the Windows Media Player looks
slick, with an emphasis on album art and big buttons. When the Media
Player is running, the taskbar preview pane displays basic controls,

Pin the program from the Start Menu

Another new feature makes it easy to pin programs to
the taskbar. Recently installed programs will be temporarily added to
the Start Menu's pinned list. Users can drag-and-drop from there to the
taskbar without having to go hunting through the All Programs list.

Search smarter

Search snippets in the release candidate does a
better job of highlighting relevant terms in your documents, exposing
useful data even if it's not in the file name.

Back to the past in XP Mode

Windows 7 supports a feature that won't be useful to
most users, but businesses might do a double-take. XP Mode is a free
add-on for Windows 7 that creates a virtual XP environment in which you
can run older programs. Configuring it isn't easy, but for enterprise
software that probably won't be updated anytime soon, this could help
convince them to upgrade to 7.

You can touch this

The release candidate includes vastly expanded
functionality for touch-screen users, including multitouch zooming.
It's not big news now, but it's a good sign that Microsoft is looking
to the future.


A new bug in the release candidate ghosts your
taskbar when you drag it to a different docking edge. There doesn't
seem to be a solution for it at the moment, except that moving the
mouse directly to the edge you want can sometimes avoid the ghost.

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