Windows 7

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Windows 7 is the latest incarnation of Microsoft's Windows operating system.


Vista comes in about six flavors, each of which is substantially different from the others. It is recommended that university students not use the Starter version. There are a number of features most users will wish to use in the more advanced versions.

User Access Control

Windows 7 includes a modified version of the UAC which first shipped with Vista. The UAC is designed to prompt users before they perform any "administrative" actions. The message is a pop-up box displaying a path to the executable file or script, asking users how they wish to proceed, with "Allow" or "Deny". To prevent this prompt when running an application, right-click the application and select "Run as Administrator".

Control Panel

The Control Panel is the same as the Control Panel that was included in Vista. See the Vista Control Panel wiki entry.

Command Line

By default, Microsoft has hidden the "Run" command. It is accessible by typing (Windows Logo)+R on the keyboard or by typing "run" into the search box at the bottom of the Start menu.

This function must be run as administrator, and now provides new information. Aside from wireless and wired connections, this utility will also display "Tunnel Adaptors", most of which are designed to support IPv6 technology.

Although the msconfig utility is still included, Microsoft has also added the "Blocked Startup Programs" menu in the system tray. Either of these utilities may prove useful, depending on the user.

C:\Documents and Settings

With Vista comes the introduction of "Junctions", designed to replace a number of pre-existing well-known folders. A junction is essentially a link to another folder on the system. In theory, they act as if the user were accessing the linked folder. In practice, however, using junctions can cause problems when applications cannot find data required to run a task. Because the file structure in Vista is dramatically different, most programs designed to run in XP will not run in Vista. Microsoft has produced a short list of applications that are compatible.

XP Vista/Windows 7
Application Data AppData\Roaming
Cookies \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies
Local Settings \AppData\Local
My Documents \Documents
NetHood \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
PrintHood \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
Recent \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
SendTo \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
Start Menu \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Templates \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

Microsoft Word

Office 2007, launched with Vista, introduces the .docx format in place of the standard .doc format. This new file consists of an .xml package zipped up into the .docx file. To view .docx files in older versions of Office, users must download and install Word Viewer.