Windows 7 Beta 7022 (RC Branch) 150 Screenshots Gallery
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Windows 7 has come a long way since Milestone 3, also labeled pre-Beta Build 6081
. Build 7000, not to mention 7022 and later, are as far from Windows Vista as an evolution of Windows XP's successor, and in effect Vista R2 (Windows 6.1), can get. A critical stage in the development of the next version of Windows, the Beta milestone
of Windows 7, with the code signed off in December 2008, is feature complete, and has been available for download to the general public for free for the most part of January and the start of February 2009. Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, revealed at the end of January 2009, that from Beta Windows 7 would evolve straight into Release Candidate stage.
“The next milestone for the development of Windows 7 is the Release Candidate or “RC”. Historically the Release Candidate has signaled “we’re pretty close and we want people to start testing the release, especially because all the features are done.” As we have said before, with Windows 7 we chose a slightly different approach which we were clear up front about and are all now experiencing together and out in the open,” Sinofsky stated
the past month. At the end of October 2008, Microsoft was gearing up to debut the Win 7 road-show, an array of events that began with the Professional Developers Conference 2008 and continued with the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008 in Los Angeles.
At that time, Microsoft released Windows 7 Build 6801 and Build 6956
, which were both pre-Beta. The Milestone 3 and pre-Beta labels were designed to represent the company's focus on software and hardware developers ahead of anything else. “The Pre-Beta from the PDC was a release where we said it was substantially API complete and even for the areas that were not in the release we detailed the APIs and experience in the sessions at the PDC,” Sinofsky added.
Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 was made available for the general public on January 10, 2009. Microsoft served the bits throughout February 12, when the downloads were discontinued completely, with access to the build cut since February 10. Windows 7 Beta is, according to Microsoft, both API and feature complete. This means that although the Redmond company indicated that it had more surprises up its sleeve, the current architecture and fabric of Windows 7 Beta is close to what end users will be able to see in the RTM Build of the operating system.
“Many ecosystem partners including PC makers, software vendors, hardware makers will, as has been the case, continue to receive interim builds on a regular basis,” Sinofsky added. And Microsoft of course kept its promise. With the Windows 7 development process advancing into the Release Candidate phase, the company is supplying a select pool of testers, mainly partners, with a consistent stream of interim builds of the platform. Windows 7 Build 7022, Build 7025, and Build 7032 are illustrative examples in this context.
Windows 7 Build 7022
The 32-bit flavor of Windows 7 Build 7022 has leaked from testers and is available for download in the wild. Despite the fact that Microsoft has also offered partners Build 7025 and Build 7032, releases superseding 7022 are yet to find their way to BitTorrent trackers. Still, 7022 is live, indisputable from the Release Candidate branch, even though the platform still features the default Betta fish wallpaper, and is referred to as a Beta in the EULA presented to end users during the installation process.
Not much. The largest change by any account is the introduction of Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1. IE8 RC was launched for Vista, XP and Windows Server 2008 and 2003 at the end of January 2009. Windows 7 Beta shipped with a pre-RC build of IE8. The Release Candidate of Windows 7 instead features the Release Candidate of IE8. Build 7022 does deliver minor tweaks to the graphical user experience, affecting Home Group, namely the icon and the task pane from the Control Panel. Remember, Windows 7 is feature complete, any additions are bound to be just minor. However, Windows 7 Build 7032 does feature new content, compared to Build 7022, namely a couple of new themes. It is important to understand, that going forward, the main focus of the Redmond company will not be the addition of new features.
“We’re looking carefully at all the quality metrics we gather during the Beta,” Sinofsky added. “We investigate crashes, hangs, app compat issues, and also real-world performance of key scenarios. A very significant portion of our effort from Beta to RC is focused exclusively on quality and performance. We want to fix bugs experienced by customers in real usage as well as our broad base of test suites and automation. A key part of this work is to fix the bugs that people really encounter and we do so by focusing our efforts on the data we receive to drive the ordering and priority of which bugs to fix.”
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Nothing new on the UI front
In terms of the user interface users will not be able to notice any changes in Build 7022 compared to the Beta, simply because they're not there. Of course, the Superbar (the enhanced taskbar) is in place with features such as Thumbnail Previews, Aero Peek, Aero Snap, Aero Shake. The screenshots below are designed to give a taste of Windows 7 Build 7022's UI. Users that have just deployed Build 7000, and started to get comfortable with it, should understand that Build 7022 does not bring sufficient changes to the table to actually deserve going through the installation process again. But for testers that want the latest and the best, Build 7022 is the answer; however, I advise waiting for 7032, or a superseding release, although obviously I haven't.
Windows 7 Build 7022 by default
One detail that will be absolutely critical for software developers to ensure is that their applications are tailored for Windows 7. For the time being, programs as Firefox, Opera and Chrome fail to make the best out of the Aero evolution in the same manner as Internet Explorer for example. I'm more than sure that going forward, developers will make use of the Windows 7 API in order to deliver a similar experience to what the operating system's native programs have to offer. In this regard, when it comes down to design, adoption of the Ribbon is not to be overlooked. One thing that is absolutely necessary to avoid is what Apple did when porting Safari to Windows, namely make zero changes to the UI. Safari ended up looking as if it didn't belong on the Windows desktop, not the best move from Apple. Application developers do not want to make the same mistake, and have their programs screen “non-Windows 7” just because of the UI. The Ribbon is the answer.
Building the Windows 7 brand
Visual identity does not stop with Aero, the Superbar and Ribbon. Just as the vistas screamed Windows Vista, Microsoft now needs to take it to the next level and correlate the background of the operating system, via the default wallpapers shipping with the platform, with the Windows 7 brand. For the time being, Windows7's backgrounds continue to be vistas. At the same time, the company needs to at least tweak the Win 7 screensavers available, if not deliver new ones. But this time around, allow end users to modify the settings of screensavers by default, instead of having to resort to registry tweaks. Is that so hard to do?
Onward to RC
“The work we’re doing is refining the final product based on all the real-world usage and feedback. We’ve received a lot of verbatim feedback regarding the user experience—whether that is default settings, keyboard shortcuts, or desired options to name a few things. Needless to say just working through, structuring, and “tallying” this feedback is a massive undertaking and we have folks dedicated to doing just that. At the peak we were receiving one “Send Feedback” note every 15 seconds,” Sinofsky said.
Microsoft continues to offer no specific deadlines for the availability of Windows 7. The next development milestone is no exception to this rule. Leaked information indicates that the Redmond company is gearing up to drop Windows 7 RC in April 2009, but the software giant has confirmed nothing as of yet. Sinofsky stated that “we are researching issues, resolving them, and making sure those resolutions did not cause regressions (in performance, behavior, compatibility, or reliability). The path to Release Candidate is all about getting the product to a known and shippable state both from an internal and external (Beta usage and partner ecosystem readiness) standpoint. We will then provide the Release Candidate as a refresh for the Beta.”
The RC deadline is of course kept under a tight lid at Microsoft because it will signal the proximity of the RTM. On the way to Windows 7, the company has to continue selling Windows Vista, and an imminent release of the next iteration of the Windows client is capable of influencing sales of the current release. According to a Windows 7 product map leaked by Lotta Bath, from the Microsoft Sweden Partner team, the operating system will hit RC in April, RTM in October. The General Availability date is not specified, but with the platform released to manufacturing in October, it could be ahead of the 2009 holiday season.
“With the RC, the process of feedback based on telemetry then repeats itself. However at this milestone we will be very selective about what changes we make between the Release Candidate and the final product, and very clear in communicating them,” Sinofsky revealed. “We will act on the most critical issues. The point of the Release Candidate is to make sure everyone is ready for the release and that there is time between the Release Candidate and our release to PC makers and manufacturing to validate all the work that has gone on since the pre-Beta. Again, we expect very few changes to the code.”
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|Comment #1 by: TOMxEU on 14 Feb 2009, 16:01 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I really hope, that W7 will be as stable as promised, I am bored of 10-20 BSOD per a day in Vistax64.
|Comment #2 by: Picsoe on 14 Feb 2009, 18:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Build 7022 (or later) should be made available for the millions of beta testers that struggle with the IE build that came with Windows 7 beta 7000.
|Comment #3 by: thartist on 14 Feb 2009, 22:15 UTC|| reply to this comment|
WHAT DO U MEAN NOTHING NEW?
Haven't you noticed:
new Paint icons,
a few items less in the Control Panel,
new graphics for sidebars,
new and tweaked themes
new icon for HomeGroup
no HomeGropup setup screen anymore during installation
new animation for Copy/Move operations
tweaks to WMP12
i'm holding my aggravating words...
|Comment #4 by: SAIKAT BAIDYA on 16 Feb 2009, 07:29 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Nice Graphics. I think its better than VISTA.
|Comment #5 by: hakim on 16 Feb 2009, 08:14 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It really looks like Linux..
Those widgets are like the typical widgets in Linux (Analog Clock).
Panel looks like KDE's then changed with the Windows Icon.
|Comment #6 by: jafar on 18 Feb 2009, 00:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I disagree with anything said that vista has problmes, I never had any problmes with my vista 64bit at all. No BSOD or any crashes of any kind. I here lots of people mention how vista sucks, but for me it has always been okay. I'm just pissed that They make Windows 7 and their isn't anything cool about it, other then it looks like vista. I really enjoyed the mac , how with the latest OS, 300 features which all are pretty cool are new over the existing features. Microsft always remains bland in everything they do and its not worth shelling out any cash to support them at all.
|Comment #7 by: jj on 19 Feb 2009, 22:38 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Why the heck does the vertical dock take up so much room? I guess they didn't copy that from Apple by this build.
|Comment #8 by: jake on 23 Feb 2009, 01:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
so far i been beta testin for eh few days. i really do NOT like the task bar. if i want to quick launch another ap for example bring up another firefox and i click the icon it just brings up an existing running window. it needs to either be the old way or make it changeable between the two. i dont like how everything in your taskbar is just icons either. before you could tell by name what u were workin on say u had a few paints open for example. well now they all look the same and u gotta flip through to get to the right one. but other then the annoying task bar so far so good. picked up all my drivers right away. everything looks and runs smoothly. i like how even the 32 bit version read my full 8 gigs of memory even tho only 3 was available. all program support for xp and vista programs is awesome. means all my games will still work !! .. so ... so far so good. although im not noticing too much difference between this and vista yet. nothing that really stands out. my vista 64 bit seems to treat me pretty good. i never once got the BSOD or had it crash or any problems with compatibility.
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