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The next new menu item in the Control Panel allows adjusting system fonts and antialiasing settings. “ClearType Text Tuner” wizard will display some text with different parameters and you will have to select the once that is easier to read. Very simple, convenient and useful.

“Credential Manager” allows managing your login and password information that you use to access different servers, web-sites and programs.

“Devices and Printers” section combines the functionality of three sections from Windows Vista control panel: “Add Hardware”, “Printers” and “Scanners and Cameras”.

Right mouse click displays additional information, such as: why there appeared a warning symbol on the computer image (I didn’t install the chipset driver). It also allows you to work with other settings related to the selected device.

Next innovation is called “Home Group”. This is a password protected group of home PCs within which you can exchange files safely. You are offered to create a home group right after the Windows 7 installation. Why did they do it this way? Couldn’t they just share the necessary files? They could. However, if you want to connect to a Windows Vista computer, you need an account, i.e. you need to know the user name and password. Of course, you can disable the password requirement in the settings, but it will increase the security risks. Creating “Home Group” allows you to skip the login and password part. The system automatically generates a password that needs to be entered once when you are including new computers into your home network. This makes it a lot easier to connect to a different PC and you can exchange files without any security risks to worry about.

“Sound”. What I mostly don’t like about Windows Vista, is the inconvenient sound adjustment. Analog and digital channels are separate. I could play games, listen to music and watch movies in Windows XP and the sound would go from the digital output to the amplifier and speakers. I could disable the amplifier and take a headset connected to an analogue output, when I needed to keep it quiet, and continue doing what I was doing. Since analog and digital channels are separated from, one another in Windows Vista, I don’t hear anything when I switch from one channel to another. I have to pause the game or video, make the device primary and only then the sound will in fact switch to a different channel. Sometimes it is not enough and I also have to close the application completely and then open it again to get the sound working. All this is done to protect some copyrights and prevent something unauthorized from happening, but it is all extremely inconvenient!

Things have got a little bit better in Windows 7. Besides the default sound output device, you can also set a default communications device.

If Windows detects a connection, it will automatically lower the volume or mute the primary sound device.

Some parts of the “Control Panel” options are already familiar to us, but they are singled out into individual items for additional convenience. For example, “Notification Area Icons” or “RemoteApp and Desktop Connections”. At the same time, I believe that they will continue working on “Control Panel” functionality. As we see, “Backup and Restore” partially overlaps with “Recovery”, and “Notification Area Icons” – with “System Icons”.

 
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