Windows 7 in action: A smarter way to manage windows

Over the past few months, I've snapped hundreds of screenshots of the Windows 7 interface, for use in galleries here at ZDNet and in an upcoming book. But static screenshots don’t do justice to some of the nuances of actually using a feature. So when ZDNet's crack staff of video producers offered to help me produce some screencasts, I jumped at the chance. This is the first in a series of of four close-up looks at the Windows 7 interface. You’ve no doubt heard about Aero Snap and Aero Shake. Here’s a chance to see these features in action.

Over the past few months, I’ve snapped hundreds of screenshots of the Windows 7 interface, for use in galleries here at ZDNet (like this one and this one) and in Windows 7 Inside Out. But static screenshots don’t do justice to some of the nuances of actually using a feature. So when ZDNet's crack video production team offered to help me to produce some screencasts, I jumped at the chance.

You’ve no doubt heard about Aero Snap and Aero Shake. Here’s a chance to see these features in action. (Hint: Click the Full Screen button, in the lower right corner, just to the right of the Menu button, to see the most detail.)

Windows 7 demo: Window management Moving, resizing, and arranging windows on the screen has been one of those things we've done since the earliest days of Microsoft Windows. If you've used Windows since, oh, 1995 or so, you know the maximize, minimize, and restore buttons like the back of your hand. But those old-school tools just don't cut it with today's big monitors and high-definition resolutions. ZDNet's Ed Bott shows you a cool new set of gestures and shortcuts to help you move, resize, and arrange windows more intelligently.

I actually remember the first time I saw this feature demonstrated for me. I was immediately impressed with the idea that simple mouse gestures could make window management so much easier. That’s especially important these days, when 20- and 24-inch monitors are commonplace.

In fact, after using Windows 7 for nearly a full year, I have to confess that I’m spoiled by this feature more than any other. When I use a computer running another operating system—Windows Vista, XP, or even OS X—I really miss the ability to maximize and minimize a window with a flick of the mouse or to snap a window into position on the side of the screen.

This is the first of four Windows 7 demos that I’ve done in this series. Look for the next one next week at this time.

More coverage of Windows 7: