Windows 7 improved Games Explorer, Internet games

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Get used to it. Many of the features and OS additions that debuted in Vista are returning to Windows 7, with the little difference that this time Microsoft has taken the time to pay more attention to detail and improve actual usage through those features. In all fairness it's easier said than done when you have a more established platform to work with, just like Apple has been able to tweak and optimize their OS X platform for many years now.


The Windows Blog team recently disclosed some of their planned improvements for Windows 7's Games Explorer. While on Vista this merely acted as a container for your installed games with some eye candy here and there, in the new OS (including the recent beta) there will be more functionality added. For every new game you install, a game provider icon will appear that will give you one-click access to more information from the publisher, and news about other releases on the window's right pane. If done properly, by adding information gamers would actually be interested in, this may work a lot like the Xbox's Live promotional content or Valve's Steam client.

Perhaps an even better feature will be information on games patches and updates using the same right pane when clicking on a game's shortcut. This will need third-party publisher full support to work as well, but what Microsoft is planning sounds great, making game updating a one-click affair from the Games Explorer window.

Windows 7 will also ship (including the current beta) with three new online games: Backgammon, Checkers and Spades. And just like Vista's built-in games, these have received a graphics revamp with a scaling UI.

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