This post discuss the several new features in Windows 7 that make managing and sharing your files on your home network a much easier experience than ever before. Using Windows 7’s Libraries along with its HomeGroup network sharing feature, I was able to share content with other PC users on my home network. I’m going to go into detail on my experience with Libraries and setting up a HomeGroup on my network with Windows 7 to illustrate these new features for you. And believe it or not… it all starts with the relatively minor changes made to the naming of folders within User Profiles in Windows 7.
One of the things you’ll notice first is the User Profile folder structure in Windows 7 has changed a little bit from what was seen in Windows Vista.
In Windows Vista: Documents, Downloads, Photos, Videos, and Music
In Windows 7: Personal Documents, Personal Downloads, Personal Photos, Personal Videos, and Personal Music.
The naming also changed in the Public User Profile: Public Documents, Public Downloads, Public Photos, Public Videos, and Public Music.
These folder structure changes were made to accommodate a new Windows Explorer feature in Windows 7 called Libraries. Libraries exist in the Navigation Pane of Windows Explorer which has been updated for Windows 7. In Windows 7, users are given Libraries that consist of multiple “library locations” or folders from both their User Profile and Public User Profile.