Windows® 7 RC1 review: User-interface
A series of subtle user-interface changes in Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 give it an edge over its predecessor beta.
The new "task bar thumbnail overflow" feature in the new operating system has improved the list view that appears when many files are open in an application and the mouse is hovered over the beta icon on the task bar.
Instead of showing a list of opened files, RC 1’s taskbar works more like the thumbnail view. A user can highlight any file on the list and "peek" at the highlighted window like in thumbnail view. Moreover, any window can be chosen by clicking a small "X" just as in thumbnail view.
Unlike beta, the new operating system also allows you to manually pin files to a Jump List for a program that doesn't usually handle that file type.
It enables you to take control of a remote PC more easily, as when you pin the Remote Desktop Connection to your task bar, it now includes in the Jump List all of the remote desktop connections saved.
Moreover, a user can change task-bar settings in a more reliable manner. In previous editions, including Windows 7 beta, settings made to the task bar were permanently saved only after Explorer exited at the end of a session. In the case of a crash, the taskbar settings wouldn't be there in effect for the next session. Microsoft now claims that the changed task-bar settings are now made permanent within half a minute of when they are applied.
The OS has also improved Alt-Tab windows switching, which has now been combined with Aero Peek. While sifting through your open windows, you can peek through to the desktop and see the open window as well as the underlying desktop, apart from outlines of any other open windows.
RC 1 also includes an enhanced searching tool. Snippets of information, which appeared in the beta while searching a file, are longer in RC 1, and they're included more frequently.