Skip navigation

The bumper list of Windows 7 secrets

Microsoft's Tim Sneath has put together a massive collection of Windows 7 secrets, and thanks to everyone that's written in about this. Most of these were previously discussed, to be fair, but it's a great list for those just jumping into the new OS, and there are certainly some new ones in there...

I want to focus in on some of “secrets” of Windows 7: the many little tweaks and enhancements that we’ve made in this release that I’ve discovered and collated over the last few months of using Windows 7 across my home and work machines. These are the things that are too small to appear in any marketing document as “features”, but that you quickly miss when you switch to an older version of Windows. There are some who think that we’re arbitrarily hiding functionality to make Windows easy for casual users, but I’d argue that a great deal of effort has been put into this release to satisfy power users. In homage to those of us who enjoy discovering the nooks and crannies of a new operating system list, I’ve put together the longest blog post that I’ve ever written. If you’ve downloaded and installed Windows 7 Beta recently, I think you’ll enjoy this list of my thirty favorite secrets. Have fun!

BTW: Yes, Tim. I do think you're arbitrarily hiding functionality, just as you arbitrarily change things in every version of Windows. It's just a lot worse in Windows 7 than usual.

And by the way: I'd love to see someone from Microsoft actually refute the arbitrary nature of the changes in Windows 7 rather than just mention them. The closest I've gotten is something like, "You just don't understand how much user testing we do." You're right. I don't.

So... Was any of this actually new for me? Let's see.

#7, the Black Box Recorder... That was new.

I had never seen the new font Gabriola, which is #9.

I like that you can return the Quick Launch toolbar (#13), sort of, but what's the point? The taskbar is completely screwed up now.

I didn't know about the WinKey + T shortcut (#21). Nice!

And that's about it, I guess. Still, great fodder for testers and users going forward. Nice job, Tim. You know, jabs aside.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.