Well, sure it’s late, considering the 32-bit build leaked months ago and the 64-bit version leaked last month.
But I still can’t go without reviewing the Windows 7 Beta build.
IMPORTANT: Before messing with your music files at all (and if I were you I’d have backups of all your music before you start), INSTALL THE MP3 UPDATE through Windows Update, or you may lose all your MP3 files.
And sorry 56k users, I am going to embed most of the screenshots.
Not a lot has changed from build 6801, I still have issues with DWM here and there, but nothing major.
First, a screenshot of my Windows 7 desktop (you’ll have to click the link, it’s too big to embed on the page)
Now, the Windows version reporter:
Chrome doesn’t work correctly in the 64-bit version of this build, as seen here:
However, I found this, which describes how to get it working:
Although when on Win7, I just use Safari 4 for now. Webkit = win
(and of course, Chrome uses Webkit as well)
A nice feature of Windows 7 is Aero Peek, which makes all windows transparent and puts the desktop in view. You can use it by hovering your mouse over the show desktop button in the lower right corner of the screen.
If you select a window through the new superbar (Windows 7 taskbar), you will get the same effect, only with the window previewed still visible while you hover over its preview.
One of my favorite new Win7 “Aero” features is Aero Snap (which even though it’s called “Aero” works with Aero turned off).
I don’t have a screenshot because it’s rather hard to get screens of it, but drag a window to the top or sides of your screen or drag a maximized window down from the top, and you’ll quickly see what it is and how useful it is.
Also of note, the Windows 7 beta has DirectX11.
Also note the Start menu. It looks a bit different, and clicking the arrows beside an item will bring up a list of stuff you can do pertaining to that item. And the Start button looks a bit different as well. It now has an “aura” around it.
Another screenshot of jumplists (jumplists can be reached by right clicking superbar items):
New to this build is the Action Center. It had its beginnings in older builds but gained a new flag icon in this build. 6801 used a castle icon.
I listen to music a lot, and Windows Media Player mini mode is a wonderful feature for quickly moving between songs. In Windows 7, it’s changed a bit, to where you get to mini mode by hovering over the superbar icon. It’s an extra step, and slightly inconvenient, but very nice. Also, if I recall correctly, it was said in a Microsoft presentation that developers will be able to take advantage of controls like this in their own applications, which sounds promising.
(one thing that bothers me – it’s not great at displaying Japanese characters in applications, sadly Windows has never done this well, even though they display fine for the most part in Explorer)
Now for a larger screenshot of Windows Media Player 12:
It also has a nice miniature version for when you select a song to play out of Explorer:
You can enter the full version by clicking the second button from the right
Windows 7 now has native ISO burning support:
Although I still prefer to use ImgBurn
It’s been revealed that Microsoft has basically been handing out the same dozen or so keys to everyone to activate the beta. So here’s “my” key, followed by some activation screens. I’m guessing they have unlimited activations, although tomorrow’s the last day to sign up for the beta, so maybe the keys stop activating after tomorrow. And if you’re too late to download the ISO, MSN me at admin [at] justindaigle [dot] com and I may be able to help you out
Now for the System control panel applet:
And a jumplist-like feature, for connecting to wireless networks, quite handy:
The feedback tool, because after all this is a beta release so Microsoft wants to hear from you:
(and yes, I actually used it to ask them to reconsider the Inkball game; they removed it and I want it back)
And last, but certainly not least, Paint and Calculator and their shiny redesigns (Wordpad, not pictured, also got redesigned for the Ribbon like Paint did, also shiny ):
Remember, before messing with your music files at all (and if I were you I’d have backups of all your music before you start), INSTALL THE MP3 UPDATE through Windows Update, or you may lose all your MP3 files.