The first interface highlight would be the addition of Aero Peek to simplify ALT+TAB functions through windows. Normally, this keyboard shortcut allowed switching between running programs by icon. In the RC1, the team has added a new feature of previewing the screenshot of the pages currently in use. Another major change is in another keyboard shortcut of [Windows key] + [#]. This scheme was overlooked in Vista and was brought to the attention of the Beta team by users themselves. In Vista, this shortcut would open the program available in the Quick Launch list. However, it does not switch to the program, but merely starts it.
The RC1, however, has an extra function; when [Windows key] + [#] is pressed again the interface scrolls between all the open windows, utilizing the Aero Peek improvements. By adding another key, [SHIFT] and [Windows Key] + [#], the user is able to open new instances of the window. Using the [CTRL] key, with [Windows Key] + [#] enables you to directly switch over to the previous window instance and the [ALT] key paired with the [Windows Key] + [#] combination displays the programs jump list.
The jump list was also modified to only include 10 items. Some Windows Beta users had complained about its lists being too long; however, the list can be extended to include more items according to the users’ preference too. Files of non-registered types (i.e. an .html file with Notepad) can be attached to the program’s jump list and when the item in the jump list is selected, a file with the program will be started.
The OS has been further accentuated from the hardware aspect with multi-touch functionality. Now users will be able to scroll across the taskbar using fingers while previewing the programs through the Aero Peek function. Another preview improvement is the Show Desktop button, where when pressed and held, shows the programs. On websites with vertical and horizontal scroll, touch users have the capability to use their fingers to highlight text, which was not available in the Beta.
Form the performance point of view, Microsoft has used data assembled from the traces on common Windows processes in the Beta installs to speed the processes up. Using the example of how long it requires for the start menu to pop up after clicking the Windows icon, the pane opens in 50 ms, which is a performance improvement on the order of 85 percent to 92 percent. The performance data obtained is based on the examination of the traces optimizations that were made.