The edition of Windows 7 beta that we tested is the "Build 7100" version labeled as the release candidate that has been making the rounds and was apparently leaked earlier this week. The official release candidate of Windows 7 is due to be released to the public on May 5.
To get these screenshots, we installed Windows 7 both within a VMware virtual machine, to document Windows 7's install process, and on a Dell Optiplex 960.
Disk management is quite similar to Windows XP or Vista. This isn't an area that most computer users will get to, but this tool is useful when you're booting multiple operating systems or managing a lot of disks.
Shown here: Device Manager functionality. Note that Windows 7 hasn't quite picked up all the drivers for our Dell Optiplex 960, though it is, of course, only a release candidate. We didn't install any drivers from Dell or elsewhere.
We found that we got more speed out of Vista from turning a lot of hidden Windows services off, especially the SuperFetch feature. But Windows 7 is already pretty speedy, even on older Pentium 4 hardware.
The Action Center is now a unified center where Windows will alert you to security problems, available updates, and more. Best of all, you can turn off most of the annoying alerts, if you're a power user.