Windows 7 Beta Impressions

Ok, I didn’t write before now on my impressions of Windows 7 because until the beta I really didn’t have a lot to talk about.

Now, there are some items to discuss – and in my mind the most striking is the toolbar and the changes there.

The toolbar is a good place to start to revamp the UI because it is generally the starting place for launching and opening/reopening applications. I really like what Microsoft engineers and designers have done with the toolbar. It is a complete re-think of the way the toolbar functions and the way people use it to interact with the computer.

One of my favorite features is called the Jump List and is basically a context menu oriented around toolbar items.  Each item has generic options associated with it, but it also allows history items to be pinned to the Jump List – so you can jump directly to that item.  This could be a website (so I pinned my bank url and my mail url, for example, to my Jump List for Internet Explorer) or it could be a song in the case of Media Player. So, just like the browser, I can now track history of recent activity, and create shortcuts in the Jump List to actions like playing my favorite song or visiting my favorite site.