Windows 7: Seven developments you should know about

Microsoft Windows 7 is a couple of years away, but features and directions are emerging

One stone-cold fact about Windows 7 is that we need more stone-cold facts in order to understand the new operating system that is likely to arrive in early 2010.

The company has said some of those facts will come in late October and early November during two of its major conferences -- the Professional Developers Conference (October 27-30) and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (November 5-7).

What is known beyond the Windows 7 code name is that Microsoft is building the operating system on the Windows Vista code base in order to avoid the sort of application-compatibility problems that plagued Vista early in its release. The new interface will feature the Ribbon toolbar throughout, and the server version will add the much-anticipated live migration feature to the virtualization capabilities.

Sifting through the rest of the information, rumors and tidbits out there, here are seven things to know about Windows 7 before details start to emerge in advance of next month's conferences.

1. Betas. A beta version called Milestone 3 is in the hands of testers, according to Mary Jo Foley's "All about Microsoft" blog. The early release is out to a select group and Foley is saying Beta 1, the first public beta, will hit by the end of the year. Other handicappers, however, say it looks like the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) could be the place it is released. Others are pointing to the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) as the venue where the Windows 7 Beta 1 will be introduced. Las Vegas odds makers call that a pick 'em.

2. Final release. As far as the final release time frame, Microsoft Senior Vice President Bill Veghte sent a letter in June to enterprise and business customers saying "our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately three years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista." Such clarity from Microsoft is often lacking in these announcements, but pundits are interpreting Veghte's message to mean late 2009. In February, Bill Gates, then chief software architect, hinted at the same time frame. Some reports have said the ship date will be as early as June 2009.

3. Development. Many are asking why Microsoft has a chance of completing the operating system on such an ambitious schedule given the five years it took to get out Vista. One major reason is Steven Sinofsky, who took over Windows development in 2006 as Vista limped to its finish line. Sinofsky is best known for his workmanlike schedule for pumping out versions of Microsoft Office on a regular 18-month cycle. Windows 7 is Sinofsky's next big test and perhaps his legacy at Microsoft.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 7operating system

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?