The first Beta of Windows 7 is on the horizon, and in this context it's right about time to look beyond Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. The next iteration of the Windows client has been a palpable presence only through the Milestone 1 build dropped at the end of 2007, with the Redmond company gagging all details on the operating system and its development process. At the same time, with the evolution of Vista's successor toward the first Beta stage, Microsoft is increasingly focusing on Windows 7.
This week, and all month for that matter, the next version of Windows has started to increasingly take shape, with the Redmond company contouring it little by little with the EULA webpage, the Engineering Windows 7 mouth piece, the WSUS product category and the drivers and updates pushed to the Microsoft Update Catalog. Now a representative of the Microsoft Update group has taken it to the next level and revealed that the software giant was gearing up for the first Windows 7 Beta.
"Yesterday a new product category for Windows 7 Client was published to Windows Update and was made available to WSUS (another one for Windows 7 Server should be appearing soon as well). As with all of our other new product categories, this is for Microsoft teams who are publishing Windows 7 beta drivers/updates in the near future. In the future, we'll try to let you know about new categories ahead of time," revealed a member of the Microsoft Update team. (emphasis added)
At the same time, the Windows Server Update Services team offered their own take on the matter: "The MU team has published a note regarding a new category on Windows Update and WSUS in preparation for Win 7 beta updates and drivers in the not so distant future." (emphasis added)
The not so distant future and the near future sound as abstract as possible, and are by no means reliable deadlines. But taken into consideration that Microsoft is already starting to prepare Windows 7 Client drivers and updates, and will do the same for Windows 7 Server/Windows Server 2008 R2, the actual Betas are closer than ever. Come October-November 2008, the Redmond company will greenlight the Windows 7 conference road-show, with events such as PDC2008, WinHEC2008 and Tech-Ed EMEA. In this regard, there have already been speculations pointing to the first Beta of Windows 7 going live around PDC2008, at the end of October.