Microsoft announces Windows 7 changes

Microsoft has unveiled some of the changes it will make to Windows 7 when it moves from the popular public beta to its first release candidate.

From the start, Microsoft has openly admitted that some features are not included in the beta that will make the final version; and on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, the software giant has noted some of the changes it will make following feedback.

It suggests that the 36 changes listed are just a sample of some of the changes it will have integrated into the first release candidate of Windows 7, when it finally arrives.

Tweaks and shifts

Some of the changes, listed by Chaitanya Sareen, are relatively minor, including tweaks to the desktop experience like Windows Flip (Alt + Tab) with Aero Peek, and more shortcuts using the Windows key.

Interestingly, Microsoft has also indicated it will switch back to a more obvious 'needy window' alert - when a program that needs attention flashed on the taskbar - because the first iteration in Windows 7 was too subtle.

"Since the '90s, the taskbar has always provided some type of visualisation to alert the customer to this state such as by flashing the button," says Sareen.

"A careful balance must be struck between providing information and not irritating the customer.

Too subtle

"With the new taskbar, we received feedback that Outlook reminders or a Messenger chat sometimes went unnoticed because needy windows were too subtle," Sareen adds

"We've made three changes that should address the issue. First, we changed the flashing animation curve to make it more noticeable (from a sine to a sawtooth wave).

"Second, we used a bolder orange colour. Finally, we wanted to double the number of flashes which is currently set to three. As a nod to Windows 7, we decided to go with seven flashes instead."

The extensive changes are detailed on the Engineering Windows 7 blog – so if you want to know what to expect in RC1 then check out the full change list.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.