Microsoft Windows 7 (Archived Report)

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Archived Report:
Windows 7

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021068

Publication Date: 1604

Report Type: PRODUCT


Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was introduced in 2009 as a successor
to Vista. This OS – which was built on the Vista SP1 kernel – has largely been
replaced by its successors Windows 8 and Windows 10, although it continues to
in use by a number of consumers and businesses. Official support for Windows 7
and its service packs ended in 2015. This report looks at some of the features
that Windows 7 offered.

Report Contents:


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Microsoft Windows 7, launched on October 22, 2009 as the successor to
Windows Vista, offered an incremental update to the Windows line.

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It was adapted to address user
concerns with Vista and to meet the requirements of developers, businesses,
consumers, and even government regulators. The OS underwent major changes, even
though its kernel was actually based on Vista SP1. Microsoft used feedback from testers of
its free public beta of Windows 7 to build the final version.

Although this operating system is still widely in use, Microsoft has officially
ended its support for the product and all of its service packs as of 2015,
in favor of its successors Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Major Windows 7 Features

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Name: Microsoft
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329
(425) 882-8080
Fax: (425) 706-7329
Type of Vendor: Operating System and Application Software Provider
Founded: 1975
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: MSFT (NASDAQ)

Windows 7 added  features to help users
deploy home and business networks, improve security, use media and social
networks, and navigate programs. These included:

  • For Consumers – Features to streamline installing home networks,
    accessing devices, and sharing multimedia.
  • For Businesses – Tools for deploying business networks and
    creating virtualized environments. Microsoft is also adding security and
    cloud features.
  • For Developers – Advanced integration with the Microsoft Azure
    cloud platform, plus deployment toolkits and automated installation kits.

Figure 1 offers screenshots of some of Windows 7’s more prominent

Figure 1. Windows 7 Screenshots
(From Left to Right: HomeGroup file and printer sharing, Jump List
desktop favorites, Snap window management, and Windows Touch
touchscreen pairing)

Figure 1. Windows 7 Screenshots

Source: Microsoft

Table 1 presents some of the features that helped distinguish Windows 7
from its predecessors.

Table 1. Windows 7 Defining Characteristics

The Windows 7 interface is similar to Vista’s
Aero, in which the desktop and open programs are visible behind the program in
use. Windows 7 also offers:

  • Customizable Dragging – More
    customizable ways to open, close, resize, and arrange open windows.

  • Handwriting Recognition – Available
    in certain versions, for specific devices. This is useful for writing
    mathematical equations and text.

  • Jump List – Lets users find and
    search for frequently used programs.

  • Toggle – Users can toggle between
    thumbnails and lists.

  • Touchscreen – Includes touchscreen
    functionality – with multi-touch and zoom features – using proper PC

  • Shake – Isolates a specific window
    and minimizes others.

  • Snap – Lets users “snap” a
    window to the right or left side of the screen, using shortcuts or a

  • Transparent / Hidden Windows – Users
    can drag the mouse to the right corner of the desktop to make all windows
    transparent. Also includes single-click view-desktop functionality.

  • Toggled Programs – Offers a
    Windows Features panel to turn off unused, popular programs such as
    Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Media Center, and DVD Maker.

  • Other Features – Improved
    navigation, file sorting, a new taskbar, and Web Office software.

Live Essentials
download instead of packaged as part of the OS. Windows Live programs
include: Live Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail, Writer,
and Movie Maker.
and Device Networking
Home and Device Networking elements include:

  • HomeGroup – Network and Sharing
    Center for at least two Windows 7 PCs.
  • Devices and Printers Portal – Single
    portal for connecting, managing, and using any printers, phones, or 
    other devices.
and Control
less frequent security prompts than Vista or XP, while still adding
safety features such as:

  • Internet Safety / Security
    Protects against deceptive and malicious Web sites.
  • SmartScreen Filter – Warns
    users when a Web site is deemed dangerous.
  • Other Features – Automatic
    crash recovery and private browsing.


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As of 2015, Microsoft no longer supports any Windows 7 editions or service
packs. Users are encouraged to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 10.


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Representative Windows 7 pricing at the time of release is shown in Table 5.

Table 2. Windows 7 Pricing at Release


Professional $199.99
Ultimate $219.99


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Primary competitors to Windows 7, apart from Microsoft’s other operating
systems, include Chrome (Google), OS X (Apple), and a range of Linux operating

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