Forget the endless, confused build up to Vista. The release candidate version of its successor, Windows 7, is very close says a Microsoft insider, as the company seems set to wrap up a frenetic, one-month beta programme.
It was a long, long time between drinks, last time around. Microsoft took six long years before it upgraded Windows XP to Windows Vista in early 2007. Features came and went during endless revisions.
In contrast, the company seems set to wrap up its Windows 7 testing programme in record time with only a single beta before the new OS goes to Release Candidate.
The frenetic beta download programme of January 9 to February 10 will be Windows 7’s first, and last, test outing. It followed a pre-beta version delivered to third-party developers during October.
There will be no further beta version of the new OS, says Microsoft's senior vice president for Windows Steven Sinofsky in a post on the Windows 7 Engineering blog.
Windows 7 will next appear in a Release Candidate version, a dress rehearsal edition that signals a piece of software will soon be finalised.
Mr Sinofsky stresses he isn’t making any predictions about when Windows 7 will come out, but it there is now a broad industry consensus that the new OS will appear during the second half of this year.
How many versions?
One key question still lingers. Although Windows 7 has collected mainly glowing reviews, and been praised for its ability to run on cheap, gruntless netbooks, Microsoft has yet to say if it will follow Apple’s MacOS lead and release a single version, or follow its Vista strategy and release a plethora of versions from cheap and under-featured to full-featured but priced more than a budget PC
The below screenshot, from Engadget, seems to indicate that history will repeat itself. Let’s hope that’s one feature that stays nixed in the Release Candidate.
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