Windows 7 includes a number of new features, such as advances in touch, speech, and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot performance, and kernel improvements.
New features include Gadgets being integrated into Windows Explorer, a Gadget for Windows Media Center, the ability to visually pin and unpin items from the Start Menu and Taskbar, improved media features, the XPS Essentials Pack being integrated, Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE), and a multiline Calculator featuring Programmer and Statistics modes along with unit conversion.
Many new items have been added to the Control Panel including:
- ClearType Text Tuner,
- Display Color Calibration Wizard,
- Workspaces Center,
- Location and Other Sensors,
- Credential Manager,
- Biometric Devices,
- System Icons,
- Windows Solution Center
Windows Security Center has been renamed the Windows Solution Center (Windows Health Center in earlier builds) which encompass both security and maintenance of the computer.
The taskbar has seen the biggest visual changes, where the Quick Launch has been merged with the buttons to create an enhanced taskbar or what Microsoft internally refers to as the "Superbar". This enhanced taskbar also enables the Jump Lists feature to allow easy access to common tasks.
Windows 7 will also contain a new FireWire (IEEE 1394) stack that fully supports IEEE 1394b with S800, S1600 and S3200 data rates.