Microsoft released the first beta version of Windows 7 at CES 2009. MSDN, TechBeta and TechNet customers can download it immediately, and consumers who want to test the beta will be able to download it tomorrow at this page.
Windows 7 is designed to do the following:
Work the way consumers want. With Windows 7, Microsoft paid special
attention to performance, reliability, security, compatibility and
battery life. The company is on track to deliver a great experience
that will allow customers to spend more time doing the things they
want to do, without the operating system getting in the way.
Make everyday tasks faster and easier. The more streamlined and
intuitive design of Windows 7 is intended to simplify the things
people do every day on their PCs. Desktop improvements make using
the PC easier and provide immediate access to the applications and
files people use most often through features such as Jumplists,
Previews and the new Taskbar. The new Home Group feature makes it
easier for consumers to connect multiple home PCs together to share
printers and access files, music, photos and videos. Device Stage
makes connecting and working with devices easier than ever with a
single interface to manage devices and run common tasks. New
multitouch technology in Windows 7 will enable people with touch-
screen monitors to use multiple fingers to interact with their PC
screens in a more intuitive way.
Offer a better entertainment experience. Consumers today have access
to more digital media and are increasingly using the PC as the hub
of their electronic experiences. The "Play-to" feature in Windows 7
allows easier streaming of music, video and photos to devices in a
home network. Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center in
Windows 7 have built-in support for more media formats so people can
use their PC to play more media content and sync it to a broader
range of devices. As an alternative to monthly digital video
recording (DVR) fees, Windows Media Center, available in some
editions of Windows 7, with a TV tuner and improved user interface,
makes recording TV free and easy.
Additionally, Microsoft also announced the availability of the Windows Live communications and sharing application suite.