Here are a few screenshots of Windows 7 Release Candidate, as it is the only copy I had on hand at the time. Really it is not much different under the hood than Windows Vista, in fact despite it's name Win7's NT version is 6.1.
This is the desktop. As you can see I have installed MWSnap to do my screenshooting to save me time, and Firefox has been installed. By default, the only thing there is the recycle bin.
As you can also see, the desktop has changed significantly again.
- The sidebar thing is gone.
- The "show desktop" option has been replaced by a button in the lower right hand corner
- Flip3D, the Exposé ripoff, no longer has a quick launch icon, but can still be accessed through Win+Tab
- The taskbar is significantly different.
The "quick launch" thing has been removed, and now icons of applications can be pinned to the taskbar. By default, the icons for Internet Explorer, Media Player, and the Explorer are pinned to the taskbar, but I have removed IE and added the Firefox and MWSnap icons.
Seems odd the recycle bin has not been pinned to the taskbar, and it requires fiddling to get it on there anyways.
Gadgets can now be added anywhere on the desktop.
Unfortunately I don't have Aero on, but if you did, you would be able to mouse over each individual program to see a group of previews. Mousing over one of the previews brings the preview's window to the front, and transparencies the others.
Also shown is the new homegroup thing MS has bundled with Windows.