More discoveries regarding Windows 7
It's months ago since I wrote my last blog post. It was about the things I did like about Windows 7. Now that the RTM is released for Technet and MSDN subscribers, I replaced the RC that I was running with this RTM, UIltimate edition. There are some more interesting changes I found which probably are worth mentioning here. This time however I'd like to point out some rather nasty findings as well. More pictures will be added soon.
Burn ISO files from context menu.
Too bad only "burn" is available, I'd rather see "mount", but this definitely is a step in the right direction.
Simple way of setting up a homegroup.
I currently use two machines which both run Windows 7. I use the same workgroup on both machines, but I believe even with different workgroup names, they both discover each other and will notify you about the possiblities to easily share pictures, music, etc. You can define what to share and with whom very easily, and only if you enter the (automatically generated) right password you will be able to join another's homegroup. An easy and fast way of setting up home networking I must say.
Improved Paint layout and functionality.
Many of you will laugh about this, but I do think Paint has improved (finally). Ofcourse you still can' treally compare it with Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro or Paint .NET, but for small, quick drawings or screendumps, etc. it works very well. The ribbon was added to "unify" the look 'n' feel of it together with other Microsoft applications and well, though it's not the best improvement I have ever seen, it does work rather well like this.
Faster network discovery & more compact Networking Center.
When I opened up the network environment I noticed how fast the network list got populated. It took just a few seconds before the list of hostnames got longer and longer. I am certain this is a performance improvement compared to Vista nd earlier versions. Also the Network and Sharing Center is made a little more compact, showing you (almost) all information you need in one screen. One question still remains: am I the only one who thinks you need too many clicks before you see your IP-Address etc.? I was hoping you could find that information (maybe together with MAC-address) in just one simple click... unfortunately I was wrong.
"Play to" aka DLNA support in MediaPlayer.
When you own DLNA-certified devices you can hook it up with your Windows 7 PC to stream content like music, pictures and video to those devices, for example your TV. From the explorer context menu, as well as the MediaPlayer context menu on your Windows 7 machine you can initiate the stream and push it over to the device of your choice. The device will auto-sense the stream and will start playing it instantly! I don't own DLNA-devices myself but with two Windows 7 PC's you can stream from machine A to machine B as well so I did use it a little bit. I now wish I had a nice DLNA-certified HD TV!
Improved MediaCenter look 'n' feel.
The new MediaCenter application just had a small facelift. It's not a big difference, specially not for those who simply had a look at it in previous versions, but I used it quite often so for me it is an improvement seeing the new Music Library interface and the "Now playing" screen. All Album Art found in your library will be used as tiled wallpaper when playing music. It looks awesome if you ask me. When watching Live or Recorded TV and you navigate back to the main menu, the background shows a slightly faded out view of the footage that keeps playing. Most of the options and configurations seem untouched as far as I've seen.
Dynamic desktop wallpaper feed.
I accidentally came across a blog of someone who liked the new Bing searchengine look 'n' feel so much that he want to have the Bing-backgrounds as desktop wallpaper on his workstation. If you format your RSS-feed in a particular way, it can be used as an image-feed for your desktop. This seems to work in Windows Ultimate only btw.
Linking online ID's to local Windows 7 account.
You can connect your Windows Live ID directly to your Windows 7 profile. This way it's easier and faster to use Windows Live applications like Live Messenger, Writer and Image Gallery and it's mandatory to make your media library available through computers over the internet. Currently there's only one online ID provider available (which obviously is Microsoft Windows Live) but more will follow according to Microsoft. I did not manage to get this working on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit I must add. On my 32-bit machines it worked fine.
System often freezes for several seconds / minutes.
Still no visualization of defragmentation.
I've used several third-party defragmentation tools in the past, for multiple reasons. What I do like about those other tools is that they all make visible how the defragmentation process is doing. It's visualized with these blocks that get moved around. A perfect representation of the "mental model" I have of defragmenting.
Unreliable MediaCenter performance.
One of the machines (the 64-bit) keeps crashing on MediaCenter. I could use it for about a day, but when I started it up again to make some screendumps it kept crashin hard. When opening the Music Library it simply shows a small error-box that there was an audio error. So when I then try to use the Search-option, it crashes within a second.