What is Windows 7? The Windows operating system following Windows Vista.
Is Windows 7 compatible with Vista? Yes. All the security hardening introduced in Vista will be found in Windows 7 and Windows Vista serves as a foundation for upcoming Windows operating systems (such as Windows 7 and the already released Windows Server 2008.)
What are some important improvements of Windows 7? Windows Explorer, WinFS storage technology (but under a different name), and search functions (for the local system, networks and the Internet) and GUI have all been improved since the release of Vista.
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Easier. Windows 7 will make it easier for users to find and use information. Local, network and Internet search functionality will converge. Intuitive user experiences will be further advanced. Automated application provisioning and cross-application data transparency will be integrated.
More secure. Windows 7 will include improved security and legislative compliance functionality. Data protection and management will be extended to peripheral devices. Windows 7 will advance role-based computing scenarios and user-account management, and bridge the inherent conflicts between data protection and robust collaboration. It will also enable enterprise-wide data protection and permissions.
Better connected. Windows 7 will further enable the mobile workforce. It will deliver anywhere, anytime, any device access to data and applications. It will enable a robust ad-hoc collaboration experience. Wireless connectivity, management and security functionality will be expanded. The performance and functionality of current and emerging mobile hardware will be optimized. The multiple device sync, management and data protection capabilities in Windows will be extended. Finally, Windows 7 will enable flexible computing infrastructures including rich, thin and network-centric models.
Lower cost. Windows 7 will help businesses optimize their desktop infrastructure. It will enable seamless OS, application and data migration, and simplified PC provisioning and upgrading. It will further efforts towards non-disruptive application updating and patching. Windows 7 will include improved hardware- and software-based virtualization experiences. And it will expand the PC self-help and IT Pro problem resolution diagnostics in Windows.
Better performance. Microsoft is making efforts with Windows 7 to have it accommodate parallel processing better and take more advantage of today's multi-core CPUs. Microsoft is also watching memory usage, CPU usage, disk operations, boot, shutdown, standby and resume time, among other metrics, working on improving device driver performance, network performance and boot time.