First of all let me pre-cursor this post by re-iterating the thoughts of Paul Thurott on this weeks Windows Weekly podcast – The first build of a new version of Windows always looks very similar to the current release (in this case Vista) as the majority of the user interface development and decisions are left till closer to the end of the development cycle.
So knowing that as well as the fact that things will change between now and Windows 7’s release, there’s no guarantee’s that any of this will make it into Windows 7 RTM. Many of you enjoy speculating about the development of Windows, so let’s take a look at what’s different as it stands today.
Only minor changes here, nothing really noteworthy, there’s no major changes here.
Windows 7 M3 Build 6780 on the left, Windows Vista
One of the most interesting icons here is the “Make it easier to read what’s on your screen’. Clearly a reference to the work Microsoft are doing with DPI and screen resolutions as outlined on the Engineering Windows 7 blog.
The widely successful Office 2007 ribbon, now appears in WordPad. Providing context sensitive controls, this will be a good addition and welcome update to an application that’s not seen development in a long time.
Also seeing the new ribbon interface is the paint application. This, like WordPad has gone version after version of Windows without updates, although clearly not trying to replace commercial image editing applications like Adobe’s Photoshop, an upgraded Paint should provide all the most commonly performed, simple image-related tasks.
Sharing files has been is something that most people have a need for, yet is not yet simple enough for low-end users to take advantage of. This simplified Sharing right-click menu looks to improve and simplify sharing.
Windows Media Player
A change to viewing video in Windows 7, appears to be a stripped down or ‘lite’ version for quickly viewing videos. Not managing your music collection, or viewing online stores, but just watching video (no doubt audio as well). This should provide a performance improvement by only loading what’s required, no doubt users will be able to launch into the full version at the click of a button.
The UI of the full Windows Media Player closely reflects that of the new Windows Live suite of products. A much more simplified, streamlined interface, personally I don’t find there’s a problem with WMP 11, could be change for the sake of change here.
A couple of upgrades to the calculator that ads new functionality including Date Calculations and Unit Conversions.