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I have to apologize to you right away if you get disappointed with this part of our article. I am working in Microsoft operating systems all the time, however, prefer to use third-party programs instead of the traditional Windows bundle. I found that third-party applications are usually more functional and convenient to work with. Therefore, I am afraid I won’t be able to really value the new advantages “Paint” or “WordPad” got in Windows 7. Anyway, even my experience was enough to notice that the programs interface changed. Now everything looks like Microsoft Office 2007:

Even a quick look at the program list is enough to see that Windows 7 doesn’t have “Windows Calendar”, “Windows Contact”, “Windows Live Messenger”, “Windows Mail”, “Windows Meeting Space” and “Windows Movie Maker”. Not bad! They won’t take free space on installation discs and hard drives anymore. However, you may think otherwise. In this case, download Windows Live Essentials and you get the whole package plus a few extras with it.

Actually, there is one program in Windows that I have been using on a regular basis and where I noticed significant improvements. It is the calculator. It has now become more functional:


Now we can monitor all our actions:

Moreover, we can display the entire calculations history if we need to go back to one of the previous steps:

Of course, calculator is not the only thing that got modified. You can see a lot of big and small improvements everywhere. Take, for instance, “Windows Firewall”. Windows 7, just like Windows XP or Vista, offers us only base options by default, such as: enable, disable, modify the list of applications that can access the Internet. Now, however, you can open advanced settings, configure incoming and outgoing connections just like in many programs of the same type.

Or take “Windows Explorer”. Although I don’t use it as a file manager, it seems to look considerably better even to me:

Speaking of “Windows Explorer” I can’t help mentioning one more innovation: “Libraries”. These are virtual folders that can combine a few actual folders. One day someone in Microsoft decided that one should store music in “My Music” folder, pictures – in “My Pictures” folder, movies – in “My Videos” folder and all these folders should be in “Documents” or in user’s personal folder. Nonsense! My folders are named differently and located in different places, so I have never actually used the standard ones. Windows 7 has four default libraries: documents, music, picture and videos, but you are not limited to this number or location. You may create as many libraries as you want and add to them a bunch of different folders located in different places:

Now it is really convenient: no matter where the files are, they will all be available to you in one place within the selected library. Theoretically, you can also add filed from the network drives, but I couldn’t accomplish that. Remember, Windows 7 is still a beta.

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