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Windows 7: The 8 best bits

The new features that we really want

The official launch of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, is less than a month away. With this in mind, we've rounded up the top new features of the OS that are bound to make you want to grab it as soon as it's available on October 22.

Action Center

Microsoft introduced the Windows Security Center feature in Windows XP. Windows 7 renames it as the Action Center and expands the scope of information provided.

The Windows 7 Action Center notifies you about security-related issues, but also provides a one-stop-shopping view of system status and maintenance concerns.

Blu-ray support

In case you didn't get the memo, the hi-def DVD war is over and Blu-ray won. Blu-ray drives aren't ubiquitous just yet, but more and more PC and laptop manufacturers are including Blu-Ray players and recorders in systems.

Windows 7 provides native support for reading and writing to Blu-ray discs.

Device stage

Adding new hardware is often a frustrating and confusing exercise with Windows. Windows 7 includes a feature called Device Stage to simplify the process.

Device Stage provides a single console for managing devices such as printers, webcams, and mobile phones. Device Stage can be customised by the device vendor, so the information and functionality available for a given device will vary from one vendor to another.

BitLocker-to-Go

Microsoft introduced BitLocker Disk Encryption in Windows Vista .The initial version could only encrypt the drive volume that housed the Windows operating system, but with Service Pack 1 Microsoft extended BitLocker so that other drives and volumes on the system could be protected as well.

With Windows 7 BitLocker goes one step farther by adding BitLocker-to-Go for encrypting data on USB thumb drives and other removable media.

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  1. The new features that we really want
  2. Aero Peek, Aero Snap, Jump Lists and direct access


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