Since Windows Vista was essentially Windows no. 6 - its successor is now Windows 7. The codename Vienna failed to survive long under the new head of the Windows project. Jim Allchin, the father of Vista and the former Co-President, Platforms & Services Division retired from Microsoft the same day that the latest Windows client hit the shelves, January 30, 2007.
His responsibilities were transitioned to Steven Sinofsky, as the new senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group - the user experience of Microsoft Windows and Windows Live services.
Coming from the office, project with a strong reputation to meet strict deadlines and with the Office 2007 System receiving nothing but good reviews across the board, and outselling its predecessor Office 2003 by more than 2 to 1, Sinofsky is now building Windows 7. And not just Windows 7, but all Windows technologies from the graphical user interface to media and the next version of DirectX - DirectX 11. But also Internet Explorer 8, and Windows Live services from Windows Live Hotmail to Windows Live Messenger and to Windows Live Spaces. Sinofsky's position that spans over both the development of Windows 7 and Windows Live Wave 3 is a clear indication of Microsoft stretching the next Windows iteration into the cloud, and beyond the desktop, in tune with the company's Software plus Service business strategy implemented by Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect.
One year after Windows Vista hit the shelves, G. Michael Sievert, the now former Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Marketing, responsible for no less than 100 million sold licenses of the operating system in the first year, announced that he was moving on, and will leave Microsoft as of February 2008. The Redmond company failed to associate Sievert's departure with the fact that Vista missed the initial goals set for it, to sell more than double the number of licenses compared to Windows XP. The new Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Marketing, and the man that will market Windows 7 starting with 2009 is as of February 2008, Brad Brooks, former general manager of product marketing for the Windows Business Group.
Busy Windows 7 Working Bees...
The first official sign of life Microsoft gave about Windows 7 was delivered on February 13, 2007, just two weeks after the consumer launch of Vista. "The launch of Windows Vista was an incredibly exciting moment for our customers and partners around the world, and the company is focused on the value Windows Vista will bring to people today. We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we're working on it. When we are ready, we will provide updates," stated Kevin Kutz, Director, Windows Client, at the time.
In January 2008, although still unconfirmed by Microsoft, Windows 7 Milestone 1 shipped to key company partners for initial testing. Subsequently, a variety of details were leaked on the successor of Windows Vista, from Build version to components. One thing that is still missing is a full leak of Windows 7 Milestone 1. But, at this early stage in the development of Windows 7, Microsoft is keeping a close eye and the very few M1 builds that were made available for testing, and in this context, it is highly unlikely that any partner would be so irresponsible as to let more than a few details slip through its finger.
"It's not a state secret that we're in the early stages of development for the next version of Windows (given the internal name of Windows '7'). The specifics of what comes next are always the subject of fevered and sometimes inaccurate speculation, but you can be sure that we're not resting on our laurels. Windows is one of the most complex and sophisticated pieces of software in existence, and since it's about the most widely-used piece of software on the planet, it's a pretty exciting project to be working on. (...) For obvious reasons, I'm not able to write anything about what's coming in Windows '7'," stated Tim Sneath, Microsoft group manager for client platforms, as he announced that Microsoft is hiring an Evangelist for Windows 7.
But perhaps the most open presentation of Windows 7 was delivered by Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut during a public presentation of the core of the next Windows. After the first test of the Windows 7 kernel, understanding that there's no way to put the MinWin genie back in the bottle, Microsoft opened up a tad more on the future iteration of Windows. Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Technical Fellow confirmed the work being done on MinWin.
"The MinWin that we are talking about today is really [the work] done to analyze the dependencies and carve out the lowest, smallest, core component of Windows. A standalone, testable, slice of Windows. And that is analyzing the dependencies and cutting the lines, the cycles, from MinWin to higher level components, really making sure that MinWin doesn't depend on anything else. That is totally self-contained... so it can be built separately from the rest of Windows source tree and run independently from the Windows source tree", Russinovich stated.
Crumbs of Windows 7 from the Milestone 1 Feast
Window 7 M 1 Build 6.1.6519.1 comes as an ISO image weighing in at 2.7 GB and is designed to install on top of Windows Vista Service Pack 1. At this point in time Windows 7 M1 is not a standalone installer. The fact that it needs Windows Vista at its infrastructure explains many of the striking similarities between the two operating systems. Skeptics of the validity of the leaked Windows 7 details in fact used the similitudes between Windows Vista and Windows 7 as a way to dismiss the fact that Microsoft had indeed delivered the first testing build of the next version of Windows 7.
"As people who were 'in' early with Vista, the visual changes happen much later in the product lifecycle and under the hood changes can make a huge difference in things like performance, security and reliability while not being 'seen' by anyone," explained David Overton, ISV Partner Account Manager at Microsoft.
And because of being deployed on the Vista architecture, Windows 7 M1 Build 6.1.6519.1 inherently got the Ultimate label. But in the end, the truth of the matter is that nothing much has changed in Windows 7 M1 in comparison to Windows Vista. There are details that have been evolved here and there, but nothing significant, nothing that screams Windows 7 beyond any doubt. In addition, the modifications that were indeed introduced are superficial to say the least, so in the eventuality that you are expecting pure Windows 7 you will be disappointed.
So What Changed in Window 7 M 1 Build 6.1.6519.1?
Well, when talking Windows 7 M1 changes it's best to start on the surface. Namely Windows Aero. Scratch any trace of doubt from your minds if you think that Windows Aero will not make it into the final version of Windows 7. Microsoft has tweaked the transparent graphical user interface from the appearance of the translucent taskbar to the fact that window borders now retain Aero even in full screen mode. (Images courtesy of What's Next)
The Start menu has also been revamped with the introduction of pins. Items in the Start menu can be pined directly from the user interface, no need to go digging into the right-click contextual options. The second major modification of the Start menu is that, while performing searches, all the default items, including the components on the right hand side, are removed and query results are displayed on the entire area available.
Windows 7 M1 sports new versions of Internet Explorer 7, Windows Mail and Windows Media Center. No word yet from Microsoft on the integration of Windows Live Mail into the fabric of Windows 7. At the same time, although Internet Explorer 7.1.6519.1 is an evolved build compared to what Vista brings to the table, there has been no indication whether or not Internet Explorer 8, or above, will ship as a component of Windows 7. Similarly, although a new version of Windows Media Center is being developed under the codename Windows Fiji, the version of WMC in Windows 7 M1 is essentially the same as in Vista but with just a few extra tweaks.
There is now a new application available, built into Windows 7, namely the XPS viewer. The program will allow Windows 7 users to manage XPS documents, XPS being of course the Redmond company's answer to Adobe's PDF. Additionally, the Calculator features new modes (Programmer and Statistics), the Control Panel comes with a small UI redesign making it easier to explore. The Search box in Windows Explorer is now flexible, offering the users the possibility to stretch it to adapt and improve visualization of larger queries. And there is even a new Backup and Restore center coming with the Wipe and Reload feature that "allows you to undo all changes made to your PC."
And believe it or not, Windows 7 contains a bit of the old Longhorn project. Windows 7 M1 now allows users to create their own HomeGroup. This feature is reminiscent of Longhorn Castle. The HomeGroup is designed to permit advanced sharing capabilities between computers in the same household, when it comes to digital content from photos to videos and music, but also to printers.
[IMG=7]Here is a fragment of the official Microsoft documentation on Longhorn Castle: "the 'castle' feature allows users to have the networking functionality of the domain, including roaming the user's profile, machine trust and having a consistent user identity throughout the network. The main difference with Castle is that users do not have to setup a dedicated machine, such as a domain controller, to maintain the trust and identity relationship. It also makes it easy to share and access files on those computers. Each computer on the same subnet can discover and join an existing castle. Or, the user can create a Castle. To join an existing castle, you must know the login credentials of an administrator account already part of the castle. Only non-blank passwords can grant access. This helps ensure only authorized computers join the castle (use of strong passwords for administrator accounts is highly recommended). When a computer joins a castle, the accounts on that computer will be added to the list of accounts accessible from any computer in the castle. User specific data (e.g. their password, access rights, and preferences) will be replicated on each computer in the castle and kept in sync. In addition, the newly joined computer will inherit and respect all policies from the Castle."
Officially, Windows 7 is expected to be made available three years after the delivery of Windows Vista. Speculations currently point to the end of 2009 for the availability of the next iteration of Windows, with Microsoft itself having indicated the same in the documentation accompanying Windows 7 M1. And, as M1 is scheduled for expiration in March/April, the second milestone of Windows 7 is expected to drop in the coming couple of month. Milestone 3 is planned for the third quarter of 2008, and the first beta is expected to hit in early 2009.
10-Windows 7 ???
Shouldnt it be a 10 instead of 7?
Comment #1.1 by: Sun on 11 Mar 2008, 03:21 GMT
Well, this will be Windows 7...
Microsoft takes the build versions for the name..
You've forgotton many versions of Windows (like windows 3.11, 3.12, 3.50, 3.51 and many more)
Windows 7 is now at "Build 6.1.6519.1" (I tjink winodws 6,1 will be a better name for this...)
Comment #1.2 by: Electrolark on 31 Jul 2008, 11:36 GMT
Number of versions is all right. It was 2 lines of os windows - dos-like 95,98 & NT. ME was as try to combine principles of NT-system & 9x. Others sysstems, known as Vienna, Vista, XP, is only next generaton, based on systems with NT Kernel.
1. Windows 1.x
2. Windows 2.x
3. Windows 3.x
3. Windows NT v3.x
4. Windows 95 (Win v4.0)
4. Windows 98/98SE (Win v4.10)
4. Windows ME (Win v4.90)
4. Windows NT v4.x
5. Windows 2000 (Win NT v5.0)
5. Windows XP (Win NT v5.1)
6. Windows Vista (Win NT v6.0)
7. Windows "7"
You wanna know why it looks like vista?. the same reason Windows 95, 98 and 2000 look a like. They use the same theme, but that doesn't make it the same thing. It's only a shell that they may not want to change for now. Why should they? It looks nice. it may be too sucky because it takes in some performance (aero 3D and stuff) but perhaps they want to keep it that way. You never know what ?MS is going to do. I don't even care about the shell. It's nice but they should have upgraded or renewed the kernel, so it CAN do multiple jobs. Wouldn't we all love a Windows version that would boot up in under 5 seconds without we sent it to sleep the day before?