Windows 7 helps you play better Chess, free and online

Play better Chess, courtesy of Windows 7's much improved casual games offerings
Play better Chess, courtesy of Windows 7's much improved casual games offerings

Microsoft has overhauled its casual games offerings with Windows 7, giving users the chance to play improved, online versions of games such as Chess and Backgammon.

Microsoft's consumer product manager for Windows Parri Munsell has outlined the numerous improvements in the free, casual games that ship with Windows 7 in a recent interview, explaining how games such as Chess are both fully internet-enabled and feature a quick matchmaking system to find you buddies online to play with at your level.

Munsell told that Microsoft will have "a bunch of new casual games that will be built into Windows 7 Home Premium" in addition to the perennial favourite Solitaire.

"You'll also be able to play the likes of Backgammon and Chess. And many of these games are fully internet enabled, with a quick matchmaking system so you can play with someone else in other parts of the world. And these are built-in games."

The Game Explorer

Windows 7 features an area called the Game Explorer, which the Microsoft man explains "is really neat, because whenever you install a game it goes into this area so you can find your games really easily. [Plus] it also allows publishers to highlight updates for their games, be it DLC or bug fixes."

"Previously you'd normally have to go to the publisher or developers website, and find the details and the right versions. It's not easy, and you have to keep checking the updates. But in Game Explorer, publishers can put in a notification and a quick button that allows consumers to update their games instantly."

Touch control is obviously a big selling point for game developers and publishers making casual titles for use on Windows 7 PCs.

"A lot of our partners will be coming out with multi-touch PCs at Window 7's launch, and these PCs are capable of recognising one, two, three, four or even five touch points on your screen at any one time, depending on the technology they use," explained Pannell.

"Windows 7 has touch built into its DNA...[and] what's really exciting is games developers are taking advantage of this touch mechanics."


Adam Hartley