Brien Posey's Windows Blog

Dec 6 2008   3:16AM GMT

The Windows 7 Action Center

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As much as I like Windows Vista, I have always found it to be a bit chatty. Sure, it is important to know if a problem exists that is preventing updates from being installed, or something like that, but if I am working on an assignment, the last thing that I want is a pop up message distracting me while I’m trying to work.

Some of Vista’s pop-up messages are important, but some are downright ridiculous. In fact, I saw one this morning that takes the cake. I was working on producing a video tutorial for one of the TechTarget sites and I decided to render the movie and play it back so that I could see how it had turned out. Not wanting to disturb those around me, I plugged in my headphones. Vista actually gave me a pop up message telling me that headphones had been plugged in. Not only was this message distracting, but it blocked part of the screen that I was trying to watch the video on.

I think that Microsoft has finally gotten the message about Vista’s excessive pop-ups and nag screens. In Windows 7, Microsoft has pledged to deliver a lot fewer disruptive messages.

OK, I know what you are thinking… The pop-up messages are annoying, but some of them are important. What Microsoft has done is to create a new Control Panel applet called the Action Center. The Action Center is going to be a centralized place where you can go for the latest tasks and notifications. The Action Center consolidates all of the alerts generated by ten different Windows features including:

·         Security Center

·         Problem Reports and Solutions

·         Windows Update

·         Windows Defender

·         Diagnostics

·         Network Access Protection

·         Backup and Restore

·         Recovery

·         And User Account Control

Now, whenever an issue occurs that needs your attention, Windows will display an icon in the notification area. When you click on this icon, Windows will take you to the Action Center so that you can address the issue.

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