Windows 7 (M3) pre-beta features detailed in privacy statement

God I love privacy, or to be more exact, privacy statements. Microsoft today has just published the “Windows 7: Pre-release privacy statement” detailing some new and very interesting features which we’re expected to see tomorrow at PDC 2008 when everyone gets the Windows 7 pre-beta build.

Here’s some quick excerpts from the “privacy supplement“,

BitLocker™ Drive Encryption

What this feature does
BitLocker Drive Encryption (BitLocker) is available on computers running Windows 7 Enterprise Edition and Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. Should your computer be lost or stolen, BitLocker protects your data by helping to prevent offline software attacks. Turning on BitLocker encrypts the hard drive where Windows is installed, including all information that is stored on that drive.

Device Information Retrieval

What this feature does

Device Information Retrieval downloads information from Microsoft for your hardware devices and displays it in the Windows 7 Devices and Printers control panel, and when you first install and use a device, in the Device Stage.

Choice and control

If you choose the recommended settings during Windows 7 setup, you turn on Device Information Retrieval. You can turn this feature off by going to Devices and Printers in Control Panel. Right-click your computer icon, and then click Device Installation Settings. Select “No, let me choose what to do” and click to clear the “Display enhanced device icons…” check box.

Driver Protection

What this feature does

Driver Protection helps prevent the operating system from starting drivers that are known to cause stability problems. These drivers are listed in a Driver Protection List database that is stored on your computer. The Driver Protection List is updated through Windows Update and Dynamic Update (below). Driver Protection checks this database while the operating system is running. These checks are performed to determine whether to start a driver. For more information, see the Driver Protection List article online at the Microsoft website.

Dynamic Update

What this feature does

Dynamic Update enables Windows 7 to perform a one-time check with the Windows Update website to get the latest updates for your computer while Windows is being installed. If updates are found, Dynamic Update automatically downloads and installs them so your computer is up to date the first time that you log on or use it.


What this feature does

Gadgets are programs that run on the desktop and provide at-a-glance information, and easy access to frequently used tools.

Games Folder

What this feature does

You can also choose to check for updates to some games by right-clicking the game icon and selecting Scan for Update. Game version details and game identification numbers will be sent to Microsoft, and you will be notified of any updates that are available. You may choose to have Windows automatically scan and notify you about game updates from the options menu.


What this feature does

A HomeGroup allows you to easily link Windows 7 computers on your home network so that you can share pictures, music, videos, documents and devices. It also makes them ready to stream media to devices on your home network such as a media extender. You can help protect your HomeGroup with a password, and you can choose what you want to share.

36 insightful thoughts

  1. @ Ninja: Based on what you said, is it safe to assume they dropped Home Basic and renamed Home Premium to Home Edition?

  2. “””Just a Vista update…”””

    That’s a functionally useless statement.
    Windows 7 is “Just a Vista update…” just like how every OSX release is, “Just” an OSX update.

  3. I think that Driver Protection is a fine utility, but I’d wait until tomorrow before making judgements. Or the fud is now again? Please give US a break!

  4. oh why oh why can’t they simply release a single operating system version. I have just had another read of the back of the OS box which show the difference between the versions. At full retail price I just don’t see how you can justify buying the Ultimate version.

  5. I wish that they’d just make one version of Windows 7 for all customers – but regardless, I’m betting on there being Home, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7.

  6. I hope it’s just 1 version priced at ~ $90 or less (hey, that would be even better :P). However, if we must keep multiple versions, hopefully it will be Home (same as current Home Premium), Business, and Ultimate. And (of course this is asking too much) wouldn’t it be cool if Windows 7 Home was released as a Vista Ultimate Extra … a free upgrade?!? And then just let us pay more if we want Windows 7 Ultimate. Just a thought…. 😀

  7. Very interesting. Especially that Dynamic Update thing. Maybe you can choose the Windows Live programs you want during installation and it will download and install it before the first start. Nice. 🙂

  8. @ tino: YES! Those are exactly the little things that would make something attractive to a customer. I really hope MS comes out on a more consumer level this go-around.

  9. @Someone: You would think the second half would be obvious, but no…. That is not the case.

  10. Hopefully the Dynamic update makes it into the server editions too. That surely is an overdue feature.

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