Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 will be made publicly available on October 22. However, if you can't wait that long, we're offering a sneaky peek at the operating system's 10 coolest features.

Aero Peek

Aero Peek expands on Windows Vista's Aero graphical interface. If you have many windows open, Peek brings the window you want to focus on to the front, while turning all other open windows into transparent 'glass sheets'.

Peek also works on the desktop. If you hover over the 'Show Desktop' control at the far right of the taskbar all windows on the desktop turn to glass, allowing the entire desktop to be seen.

Sharing with HomeGroup

HomeGroups let you easily link Windows 7 computers on your home network to share pictures, music, videos, documents and devices such as a printer.

In order to set up a HomeGroup, a user's Network Location needs to be set as 'Home' in the Network and Sharing Center. When you create a HomeGroup, you specify which media files, folders and devices you want to share, and create a password so that only people with that password can join the HomeGroup.

NEXT PAGE: Jump lists and media streaming options

  1. We guarantee you'll love these features
  2. Jump lists and media streaming options
  3. Play to and Aero Snap
  4. Wallpapers and libraries
  5. taskbar peek