Microsoft is not including all the new Windows 7 goodies in the pre-beta version that will be distributed at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. However, the good news is that they are putting in a lot of new stuff that will have fans of the operating system excited until the public beta hits—if they can reach their deadlines this time—in December.
• Device Stage: Apparently this is a control panel for all kind of connected devices, from printers and cameras to cell phones and media players, that will allow users to "manage, explore, sync, print to, or do other common device-related tasks". Unfortunately, the devices have to be "Device-Stage-enabled". This sounds a bit scary.
• Action Centre: This is a troubleshooting centre. Yes. Definitely get scared.
• StreamOn: Not much is clear about this, except that it's a way to control multimedia content on PCs and other devices.
• A new animation framework which may be related to Apple's Core Animation framework.
• New task bar and shell integration.
• Multi-touch support and gestures.
• Improved Bluetooth support.
• The ribbon user interface element present in the current version of Office will be available everywhere. For some reason.
According to ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft will be showing more features tomorrow but those will not be available in the beta. We will keep you updated, as Wilson is now in LA covering the event. [ZDNet]