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Windows 7 Release Candidate Available Next Week!

Windows 7 Release Candidate will be released to the general public next week on Tuesday May 5 at no charge through May 2010. It has been available to IT Professionals through MSDN and Technet for about a week now and so far with good feedback. It is not much different from the previous beta versions if you have seen those. Everything I have read indicates that it is going to be a good release with enhanced performance primarily. Check out the video at the link below to preview the new look:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

IT operations professionals need to start preparing for it now, and the best way to prepare for Windows 7 is by deploying Windows Vista. Short of that, begin testing your applications and hardware for compatibility against Windows Vista; It will pay off with greater compatibility with Windows 7. Why? Because Windows 7 is built on the same code base as Windows Vista, and the vast majority of applications that are compatible with Windows Vista will remain compatible with Windows 7. It’s important to note that there will be some low-level application exceptions, such as client security, imaging, firewall, and networking, but the beta of Windows 7 shows significant promise, and most IT operations professionals are looking forward to its availability and eventual enterprise deployment.
Benjamin Gray, Forrester

Windows 7 Key Features from Microsoft Web Site:

Faster, more responsive performance

Nobody likes to wait. So we’ve focused on the basics that can impact the speed of your PC. Windows 7 starts up, shuts down, resumes from standby, and responds faster. You’ll have fewer interruptions and can recover more quickly from problems when they do occur because Windows 7 will help you fix them when you want.

Improved taskbar and full-screen previews

The taskbar at the bottom of your screen is what you use to switch between the applications you’ve got open. In Windows 7 you can set the order in which the icons appear and they’ll stay put. They’re easier to see, too. Click once on the new large icons or bigger preview thumbnails and you’re ready to go. You can even see a full screen preview before switching to the window.

Jump Lists

With Windows 7, we focused on keeping the things you use most right in front of you. One example: The new Jump List feature. It’s a handy way to quickly reach the files you’ve been working with. To see the files you’ve used recently, just right click on the icon on your taskbar.
So right-clicking on the Word icon will show your most recent Word documents. Plus, if there are other files you want to keep handy, you can just pin them to the Jump List.

New ways to work with Windows

Windows 7 simplifies how you work with the windows on your desktop. You’ll have more intuitive ways to open, close, resize, and arrange them. You can drag open windows to screen borders, so you’ll no longer have to click on tiny objects in the corner of a window to make it do what you want.

Maximize a window by dragging its border to the top of the screen, and return the window to its original size by dragging it away from the top of the screen. Drag the bottom border of a window to expand it vertically.

It’s easy to copy files or compare the contents of two windows by dragging the windows to opposite sides of the screen. As your cursor touches the edge, the window will resize to fill that half of the screen.To see all your desktop gadgets, just drag your mouse to the lower right corner of your desktop. That’ll make all the open Windows transparent—making your desktop, and the gadgets on it, immediately visible. Want to minimize all your windows? One click and it’s done.