First look at Windows 7 beta 1 (build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400)

First look at Windows 7 beta 1 (build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400)

Summary: I have to thank Santa for leaving me a copy of Windows 7 beta 1 in my stocking for Christmas Day. This beta (build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400) should be the first and only beta from Microsoft of Windows 7, and I'm pleased to report that it's a good one.

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TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft
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I have to thank Santa for leaving me a copy of Windows 7 beta 1 in my stocking for Christmas Day. This beta (build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400) should be the first and only beta from Microsoft of Windows 7, and I'm pleased to report that it's a good one.

UPDATE: Check out the Windows 7 beta 1 review!

Gallery: Windows 7 beta 1

27-12-2008-13-58-23.png

Note: If you want to know more about what that long string of digits that make up the build number mean, check out this excellent post by Mary Jo Foley.

I've not had a long time with Windows 7 beta 1 (given the holidays) but I've played with it long enough to form a few opinions:

  • There are no new features in this build. If Microsoft has any new stuff lined up for the RTM then we're going to have to wait to find out. Features-wise, build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400 is similar to earlier builds I've looked at (here are some posts for you to check out: 1, 2, 3).
  • This beta is of excellent quality. This is the kind of code that you could roll out and live with. Even the pre-betas were solid, but finally this beta feels like it's "done." This beta exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled.
  • Performance of this beta is exceptional. I've not had a chance to benchmark it yet but it feels snappier and more responsive than earlier betas I've handled.
  • Judging by the quality of this build, I expect Windows 7 to be released June/July of '09. I really can't see Microsoft dragging out the release a year.

Here are some screenshots to whet your appetite:

win7beta1sm_002.png 

win7beta1sm_004.png

win7beta1sm_022.png

win7beta1sm_039.png

win7beta1sm_044.png

win7beta1sm_050.png

win7beta1sm_056.png

I'll have a more in-depth review for Windows 7 beta 1 later ...

Any questions? Pop them in the TalkBack section!

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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74 comments
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  • Windows 7 - Which Version?

    Is Windows 7 gonna be 6, 8, or 10 different flavors, each
    one with not enough for it's target user? Or will MS finally
    just release a Server version and a Consumer version? I
    know all the arguments "Selling just two flavors will
    increase the cost of PC's", "Most people just need what MS
    offers". Truth is, people suckered into the low end
    Windows OS soon realize this fact and it really makes them
    angry to have purchased an OS that won't let them ftp or
    rdc or whatever when their best buddy shows them how
    easy it is to do on their Windows OS.

    Apple has been selling their OS like this forever, doesn't
    raise the cost either. And on a comparably equipped PC,
    the price is usually the same. Strangely enough, if I
    customize a - let's say - HP Vaio to spec out the same as a
    MacBook Pro, the Vaio is much more expensive. The Vaio
    usually doesn't come with Windows Ultimate either - you
    have to add it ($$$).

    This may be a great revenue stream for MS, but it does the
    customer wrong when MS's "Realize Your Potential" adds
    say one thing and the OS says another. Bad Microsoft, just
    be honest and sell to people what you say they're getting...
    spacecase2
    • You are truely pathetic.

      [i]Is Windows 7 gonna be 6, 8, or 10 different flavors, each one with not enough for it's target user?[/i]

      Is this what the ABM crowd has been reduced to? Bashing MS for the number of versions of their OS? If this is the best argument you can make against Windows then Microsoft must be doing something right.
      ye
    • Vaio same price as Mac Book pro?

      "Strangely enough, if I customize a - let's say - HP Vaio to spec out the same as a MacBook Pro, the Vaio is much more expensive."

      HP Vaio? LOL. Sony Vaio, not HP. You really expect us to believe you specked it out now? Much more expensive? LOFL. Yea, the Mac is MUCH MORE expensive.

      C2D 5.3, 4 gig RAM, 320 HD, video card ATI mobilty 360 512 dedicated memory. The video card comparison was iffy what with Apple having two video chips on the pro so I added a read/write Blu ray drive to the Sony just to cover any discrepancy and a 16 inch screen and the Sony came to $1639. Add $100 for full HD screen. The Mac is only 1440 x 900. Sony fully loaded $1739.

      Similarly equipped Mac book pro was 2499. 17 inch screen? 2,799.

      As for Vista Ultimate it offers almost nothing of essential value over Home Premium.

      http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SYCTOProcess?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&LBomId=8198552921665519347
      eggmanbubbagee
    • HP manufactures the Vaio?

      Then who mistakenly placed the name "Sony" on the bottom of it?

      I would imagine that person has been let go as of now.
      GuidingLight
    • Vaio is way cheaper than a Macbook

      I just bought a Sony Vaio SR for about $950 shipped
      (holiday pricing) with the following advantages over a
      ~$2000 Macbook:

      2.53 GHz processor
      6MB L2 cache (twice that of a Macbook)
      LED backlit screen
      Brighter screen
      Better black levels in screen
      ATI discrete graphics /w 256MB L2 cache
      HDMI output
      7200RPM hard drive
      SD & MemoryStick readers
      Firewire
      Lighter
      Longer real-world battery life
      A THOUSAND bucks more in my pocket

      To be fair, it has the following disadvantages from
      the Macbook:

      Not milled billet aluminum
      No slot loading disc drive
      Sony installs TONS of junk on the machine from the
      factory

      It came loaded with Vista 64 Home Premium, not some
      stripped down version.

      Draw your own conclusions about pricing. I'll enjoy my
      left-over $1000 :)
      Euphemism
      • So what your VAIO sucks for one reason.

        It runs Windows only. OS X is by far superior and where is
        your backlit keyboard or gesture trackpad that works just
        like the iPhone? Plus the MacBook has LED backlit screen
        and a Magsafe power adapter. I won't be tripping over the
        cord and dragging my computers into the ground.

        Windows is the budget car of operating systems and OS X
        is luxury vehicle. You get what you pay for. Plus, just look
        at the iPod and iPhone, clearly user experience is trumping
        price.
        studentrightsx
        • OS X is no luxury vehicle

          Mac users like to THINK they have the BMW of computers while the rest of the 95% of the world is driving a Toyota but the Mac fad is more like designer jeans - lot of fools will pay through the nose for those too for no better reason than a false sense of superiority. The reason Mac laptops are selling so much better than their desktops is that Mac users want to drag them off to the coffee shop to show off.

          The iPhone on the other hand is really revolutionary, though unforgivably under featured ATM. I gotta hand it to Apple there but there is no analogy here to the PC OS situation.

          No body said the Mac book pro wasn't a very nice machine, it is, all other things equal it has some extra value, some . . - the OP was saying a Vaio of similar spec would cost "MUCH MORE". If you put as much money into a Vaio as you do into a MBP (if this is even possible) you will come away with a very superior package, it will lack the Mac cool, which for you and the rest of Steve's little beeches is unacceptable, at any price, LOL. This is the reason Mac will go on being a successful niche product and a massive money maker for APPL for some time to come. Until the RDF is gone and the cool wears off that is.
          eggmanbubbagee
        • Car analogy?

          Following your analogy: Windows takes me wherever I want to go. OS X only lets me go to certain places it likes.
          Yes, with an Apple I can also run Windows. But then what's the advantage of having OS X in there? It just doubles my maintenance, configuration and software licensing cost, makes things more cumbersome, and confuses me with a double UI.
          Apples are nice machines. But they ARE expensive and somewhat niche. Live with that.
          herbys67
  • RE: First look at Windows 7 beta 1 Windows 7 beta 1 (build 6.1.7000.0.08121

    Thanks for the update Adrian. :)

    BTW
    It was obvious what the extra digits meant. There's no need for MJF to act as some kind of medium between consumer-universe and a microsoft-developer one.

    We're not as dumb as you might prefer us to be.
    V@...
  • can you tell me the MD5 hash of Win7 .ISO file?

    can you tell me the MD5 hash of Win7 .ISO file?
    qmlscycrajg
    • 32-bit

      MD5: f9dce6ebd0a63930b44d8ae802b63825
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Santa's response

        Can Santa confirm that this MD5 is the official Beta 1? All indications are that it is, but I know sometimes MS sends very late versions of products to the press so that they can get an early look, and these sometimes turn out not to be exactly what's released later.
        rseiler
        • Santa told me that this is indeed ...

          ... beta 1. Personally I can't confirm that 100% yet but I'm 99% that it is,
          Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Where did you download it from?

        Where did you download it from?
        shellcodes_coder
  • Thanks for Explaining Numbers....

    Some Pundits had Mistakenly suggested next level of Architecture, which would be against previous announcements, yet in Pin Area, NOT Impossible, as NO Real Increase has occurred for some time.

    Yet this sharpens focus, its Ultimate, which Dell is Now warrenteeing at $2K, yet better, all complete & ready to go,From Day 1, yet actual size is smaller I believe, so Less. Good For Microsoft.

    Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.
    VONDRASHEK9
  • RE: First look at Windows 7 beta 1 Windows 7 beta 1 (build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400)

    I'm only interested on a professional level and out of curiosity since Windows isn't what fits my computing best. Nevertheless I'll give it some torture on the bench. On a company level I would hope that some version of Windows 7 become less of an entertaining system and more of a professional working horse.

    Since this article isn't anything but some screen-shots here's my reaction:
    - wallpapers look a lot like they hired some Fedora artists
    - the overall impression of menus, some icons and panels is that it resembles KDE more than ever before

    The above isn't said as criticism, Microsoft is free to use whatever design they prefer. It's just what went through my head when looking at the gallery.
    KimTjik
  • Luckily my MCSEs worked the holiday....

    We received the GOLD BETA 1 bits on Christmas Eve. Luckily I already had mandated all IT staff needed to work the holiday so they were ripe to deploy and DEPLOY WITHOUT PREJUDICE. I took my rep's advice and ordered pizzas on 12/24 and had the IT guys warm up the slices in the micro-wave. Based on the early numbers, it appears Windows 7 is blowing the doors off of our company. I already saw ROI of like 1250% because the MCSEs worked the holiday without extra pay. I also canceled New Year's Day as a holiday and also demanded 24x7 coverage on New Year's Eve. Some of the staff do not like it, but with a down economy, why not push them to the limits? As my rep says, "now is the time for all IT staff to be thankful to their managers they have a job".
    Mike Cox
    • Not only that...

      [i]As my rep says, "now is the time for all IT staff to be thankful to their managers they have a job".[/i]

      ...but a manager who's nice enough to spring for pizza. Who could ask for anything more? (You didn't make them pay for their own pizza, didja Mike?) ;-)
      MGP2
      • Who are you kidding..

        Of course not, they charged it on his Linus Torvald's Charge account. He had to shop around though because many of the pizza shops didn't use Windows Kiosks to order with.
        nucrash
    • workers must be angry.

      i would be extremely pissed off if my bosses just up and sprang and said you are not going to have a new years eve and even a new years day.
      ellmondo