Windows 7 RC : Built-in applications & tools.

Last time I wrote about setting up Windows 7 RC in a virtual environment, namely VMWare. The testing is stil on-going. Now I want to concentrate on the built-in applications and tools within Windows 7.

First of all the Desktop Gadget. A gadget is like a mini apps that placed on the desktop, each programed for a particular task or job. For example a clock gadget; its task is to display the current time. Windows 7  includes several desktop gadget built-in.  Mostly these are the same as those in Vista, but now it is not required to run sidebar to use the gadget.

To put a gadget on the dektop just right click on the dektop and select gadgets. You will get a windows with list of available gadget. The default includes clock, calendar, CPU meter, slide show and a few others. Select the gadget you wish to use and drop it on to the desktop. You can always download more gadgets online. There are a variety of gadget available, system tools, e-mail helper, monitoring gadget etc.

There are several mini tools included in Windows 7. One of them is sticky notes. It is the electronic version of your Post-It-Note. You can change the colors and resize it. To change the color right click on the note and select the color you want. To add sticky note just click on the + icon placed on top-left.

Another tools is math input panel. This tool allows you to write mathematical expression on a writing pad much like a tablet input and convert the handwriting into proper math expression.

 Wordpad is also included in Windows 7, with upgraded interface like in Office 2007. Nice improvement . All other features remain the same. It will work well as a basic word processor.

Windows 7 included a new  tool called snipping tool. It allows you to capture the screen output. You can select from the whole screen, just the selected window, a rectangular area or free-form. Great tool to do documentation. Once you capture the contet, you can edit it by highlighting, send via e-mail, save it or put it into clipboard.

The calculator has been upgraded. It has additional views programmer and statistic; in addition to standard and scientific. Paint has got upgraded interface, with additional features throws in such as brushes and shapes. Pretty decent for a basic drawing program.

With Windows 7 Microsoft has included support for Powershell. As the name imply it is a spruce up shell scripting program. Think of it as an upgraded Windows Shell Script joined with the command line. With Powershell you are able to lots of cool scripting within the command line which otherwise you couldn’t do with the normal command line (CMD). For example, you could select objects such as files or directory, of certain size or type,  sort the display  according to your specified format. With Powershell you could actually automate your routine administrative tasks. But with Windows 7 Microsoft also included Powershell ISE (Integrated Shell Editor). Much like an IDE, it is a GUI program that allows you to program Powershell. Cool.

Many other standard programs sucah as task manager, resource monitor and task scheduler also got upgraded. Most of the upgraded interface are Windows 2008 inspired.

Overall I am satisfied with the improvements in the basic apps included with Windows 7.

 
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