Windows 7 Beta Preview

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Oct 17, 2008
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ZDNet a look at the new features included in the pre-beta build of Windows 7. It's worth a read as some of the new utilities look pretty nifty:

* Device Stage – a central location for customers to more easily interact with devices, ranging from printers, cameras, cell phones, media players, etc. Device Stage will only recognize “Device-Stage-enabled” peripherals. According to additional info on Microsoft’s WinHEC site, “Device Stage is a new way for consumers to manage, explore, sync, print to, or do other common device-related tasks. (I wonder: Is this more than souped-up Plug and Play?)
* Action Center — a self-diagnosis feature to help users troubleshoot problems with their Windows 7 systems
* StreamOn — a way to control audio/video content on PCs and devices (Part of the next version of Windows Media Player? Or something to do with Live Mesh? I don’t have more info at this time.)
* A new animation framework for customizing animations (Is this akin to Apple’s Core Animation tool? I have no idea.)
* New task bar and shell integration (Hints of this emerged in the September M3 leak)
* Multi-touch and gesture recognition — something Microsoft showed off earlier this year in an early Windows 7 preview
* Improved Bluetooth support (Not clear if this goes beyond the new level of Bluetooth support Microsoft is adding via Vista Service Pack 2)
* Ribbons, ribbons everywhere. As was evident in the leaked September M3 build, Microsoft is adding its Ribbon UI to the applets that are part of Windows 7.
Read the whole article here.
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