As Windows 7 approaches retail release there have been more questions about what it is bringing to the table besides a re-worked UI. Well if you look beyond the new clothing that MS has wrapped the Vista Kernel in you will find a pretty impressive feature set.
In Windows Vista one of the problems was its heavy foot print. This was further exacerbated by Vista's dislike of releasing memory once an application was finished with it. But beyond having better memory usage Windows 7 brings DX11 to the table. DX11 is bringing a host of new features to gaming. These will be the inclusion of a Physics API, adding a tesselator, and a host of other improvements and added features.
But DX11 is not just for gaming; for the first time applications will be able to selectively choose the processor they run on. I am not just talking about the CPU cores, but being able to choose between GPU and GPU on the fly.
For example let's say the main UI of an application is not GPU accelerated (either graphically or by GPGPU) but what it does is DX11 will run the portions of the code that are best suited for the CPU on the CPU and the part that are best suited for the GPU there.
This means that there should be less overhead in transitioning between the two states. It also means that developers should have an easier time in writing applications to take advantage of the parallel power of the GPU.
Windows 7 also brings extra features for SSDs, there are optimizations for performance and also a function that allows you to clean the drive properly after deleting files.