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Control Panel

We have already touched upon some parameters in the Control Panel when we talked about desktop settings, for instance. I think it is good when there are different ways of getting to the same settings: each user will do it the way that is most convenient for them. However, sometimes duplicated info may be excessive and misleading. Take, for instance, a part of the window where you can adjust the text size:

The menu on the left takes you to other related settings, such as changing screen resolution or calibrating the color gamma. And it would be really good, if “Adjust resolution” option didn’t open the same window as “Change display settings” option. Issues like this do occur from time to time, but they will most likely be eliminated by the official release date.

All Control Panel options are split into theme groups, just like in Windows Vista. For example, “System and Security”, “Network and Internet”, etc.

Some of you may like this structure; however, I couldn’t locate “Windows Defender” this way. Moreover, I personally prefer to have the full list in front of me.

Let’s take a quick look at the most interesting items that we haven’t discussed yet. The first one in this list is “Action Center” that replaced “Security Center” from Windows Vista. You may have already noticed the flag icon of this application in the notification area of the taskbar screenshots above. A red cross that may appear on the flag indicates that there are system messages available and they can be viewed by clicking on the icon.

Each line is a link. In other words, by clicking the first line you will open the browser to search for an antivirus tool; by clicking the second line – “Windows Update”; by clicking the third – “Action Center” window where you can disable different types of messages.

The menu on the left allows setting up User Account Control (UAC) parameters, but I have almost forgotten to mention it. UAC questions popped up so often in Windows Vista, especially during system installation and configuration, that most users considered it of utmost importance to disable UAC once Vista installation is complete. Windows 7 allows setting up UAC, however, I never even thought about it as the default settings were quite acceptable. Yes, sometimes you need to confirm your actions. Sometimes, but not all the time. In other words, UAC is not causing you any problems, so you don’t have to sacrifice the system security disabling it completely.

Since we came to talk about security I have to say a few words about security measures. Windows has long had “Windows Defender” that is claimed to be protecting your system against Trojans. There is also “Windows Firewall” that prevents any unauthorized access to your computer. But as for antivirus software, we have to find it ourselves. However, there is good news: new antivirus solution from Microsoft codenamed “Morro” may come out in H2 2009. So, it is quite possible that they will include this antivirus into the final Windows 7 version, which will make it even more secure.

Windows 7 supports biometrical devices, so you can use fingerprint access authorization, for instance. However, I didn’t have any at my disposal at the time of this investigation, so I can’t share any experience just yet.

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