List of Important Changes from Windows 7 Beta to Release Candidate (RC)

Steven from "Engineering Windows 7 Team" posted a list of 28 important changes from Windows 7 Beta to RC which was compiled by "Chaitanya Sareen".

Here is what "Steven" says:

Hey folks, just wanted to provide another update (building on the recent post on some changes since Beta) on some of the changes you will see in the Release Candidate.  Again, there are many and this is not an exhaustive list.  Of course we continue to gather telemetry from the large number of people running the Beta full time.  Just a reminder, the Beta is the only official build from Microsoft.  Chaitanya compiled this list from a broad set of feature teams focused on visible changes based on feedback that go beyond "bug fixes", though we included some of the more widely reported bugs on this list as well.

He divided the 28 changes in following 9 categories:

  • Desktop Experience
  • Touch
  • Windows Explorer and Libraries
  • Performance
  • Device Stage
  • Devices and Printers
  • Device Installation
  • System
  • Network

Following are the most interesting changes which we would like to share with you all:

Improved Taskbar Thumbnail Overflow:

In Windows 7 Beta when you have a significant number of open windows for a program, the thumbnail view turns into a list view. Now Windows 7 RC, the list view is architecturally same as the thumbnail view, just sans thumbnails. Customers will now enjoy close buttons and the menus open on hover (in Beta one had to click to open them).

Control Panel Jump List:

Right-clicking on the Control Panel icon on the taskbar in Beta revealed a noticeably sparse Jump List. In RC the Control Panel Jump List offers quick access to recently used items.

Applying Taskbar Settings:

Have you ever customized the taskbar, only to find your changes were not saved across sessions? Has the taskbar ever inexplicably moved on you after you log in? For a variety of reasons, previous versions of Windows saved taskbar settings only after Explorer exited at the end of a session. However, if the OS is not shutdown properly these settings did not persist. Now from RC, the settings are written within 30 seconds (providing enough time to batch a group of changes) during the session. This means settings will now be more reliable.

Multi-Touch Zoom:

The zoom gesture support has been added into Windows Explorer. Using the zoom gesture you can switch between view modes in Explorer such as zooming from Small Icons to Extra Large icons.

Going Up?

In Windows 7 beta moving up in the folder hierarchy often requires multiple clicks since longer folder names in the address bar often bump the parent folder into the overflow dropdown.

For RC, the overflow algorithm has been improved so that the parent folder's button will appear in the address bar at all times and therefore going 'up' will always be a single click away in a predictable location. When there isn't enough room to display the parent folder's full name, it will appear truncated instead of going into the overflow. If space is especially tight, then the current folder's name may appear truncated too, but in all cases the parent folder's button will remain as a click target in the address bar.

"New Folder" Option is Always Available:

An irritating problem in Windows 7 beta was that the "New Folder" button only appeared when nothing is selected. For RC, the "New Folder" button will always appear, regardless of selection.

Right-click in Windows Explorer:

Previously if one right-clicked over any portion of an item he would get the item's context menu. Now it shows the view's context menu when one clicks on any large white space, including the space between a files name and its properties.

Intelligent Re-indexing after Application Installation:

In RC the Windows Search service now keeps the index up-to-date whenever support for new file types are introduced to the system. In the past customers have sometimes had difficulties searching for files on their computer after new file handlers are installed.

In Win7 Beta (and previous versions of Windows), customers were required to rebuild their index whenever a new file handler was installed to ensure that any existing files were indexed with the newest functionality. Few customers knew to do this and it was an unnecessarily time consuming operation. Windows Search is more efficient in RC by automatically re-indexing the specific files affected by new file handlers. Rest assured that when one installs support for a certain kind of file, he can search for those files without doing any additional work.

Trimming Sound Schemes to Help Performance:

The shutdown and logoff WAV files have been trimmed to save up to 400 ms. Every little bit counts.

Partition Size Reduction:

In Windows Vista, configuring features such as Windows Recovery Environment and Bit Locker required significant customer interaction. Also, a significant amount of drive space was reserved. The Windows 7 System partition enables features to be configured to work "out of the box" so very little customer interaction is needed to configure and utilize them. Based on feedback and telemetry data received through the beta, the drive size has been cut in half (from 200M to 100M).

Dual Boot Partition Drive Letter Assignment:

For a dual boot configuration for the Beta, the other Windows OS wouldn't get a drive letter and therefore wouldn't show up in explorer. The lack of a drive letter was confusing and even caused some to believe that their secondary OS was lost. Assigning the drive letter makes it visible in explorer and aids in navigation across OS installations.

Pagefile Reduction:

For RC, the default page file size has been reduced to 100% of the available main memory. It used to be "Memory + 300MB" so on a 1GB RAM system there was an extra third allocated that is no longer required. The pagefile on some occasions will increase in size if required, but we just pre-allocate less.

Above are a few important changes. You can read the full list of changes at following link:

Windows 7: From Beta to RC

Share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Reddit | Tell a friend

Posted in: Windows 7

Other similar articles that may interest you


  • amazing list. thnx

Leave a Comment