Counting to (Windows) 7

Counting to (Windows) 7

Summary: I've gotten lots of questions from Windows users this week about TG Daily's story that Microsoft is running early with Windows 7 and has delivered an early build to unnamed parties outside of the company. Here's what I know and don't.


I've gotten lots of questions from Windows users this week about TG Daily's story that Microsoft is running early with Windows 7 and has delivered an early build to unnamed parties outside of the company.

Here's what I know and don't.

First off, Microsoft officially is refusing to say anything at all about Windows 7. They aren't confirming, aren't denying. They just aren't talking about it. Period. They want to talk about Windows Vista and -- to a much lesser extent -- Vista Service Pack (SP) 1. (And they definitely don't want to talk about "Shipping Seven," the blog from someone allegedly working on the Windows 7 team.)

On Channel 9, I saw one Microsoft employee insist that Windows 7 is still in the planning phase -- implying that it's only slideware at this point. But being in planning doesn't mean that early builds do not exist. In fact, I have heard a number of Microsoft folks have Windows 7 running on their systems. Is this the alleged M1 (Milestone 1) build mentioned in TG Daily's story? I don't know.

I have not (yet) found folks outside of Microsoft who claim to have a build of Windows 7. Does this mean such a build doesn't exist? No. Top OEMs tend to see pretty early builds of new versions of Windows, so if a Windows 7 build is available, I bet some PC makers have seen it.

Could Windows 7 ship before Microsoft's publicly stated date of 2010? Definitely. In fact, I will almost be surprised if it doesn't, with the new Windows motto of under-promise and over-deliver.

When we first heard Microsoft was telling its salesforce that Windows 7 was going to be a 2010 deliverable, I figured the new Windows engineering regime had built some padding into that timeline so as not to face another Vista slip-date scenario. Plus, what better way to convince customers on the fence about upgrading to Vista or waiting for the next Windows build that they should make the move? ("Do you really want to wait at least three more years?")

(And remember, before we heard the 2010 date, the Windows team had said publicly that it was on an every two-year release schedule. Microsoft shipped Vista in 2007. TG Daily says the new target is second half of 2009. If Microsoft is targeting holiday 2009, it would have to release to manufacturing Windows 7 in the late summer/early fall, in order for PC makers to get it preloaded on new PCs in time.)

Windows 7 is unlikely to include major architectural changes, Microsoft officials have said, making it even more likely to ship sooner rather than later.

What's your bet? Will Windows 7 hit in 2009? And if it does, will that impact your Vista upgrade plans (either positively or negatively)?

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • windoze

    is this what its come to... sit around holding your breathe hoping and praying that
    microsoft can deliver a good product someday...maybe. All set. Goto linux... goto
    mac... go to any modern operating system.
    • Modern OS?

      Linux is still in the Pre-early-Alpha-Preview Phase
      MacOS is not even an OS (and never will) it is toy
      • Re: Modern OS?

        And here I thought Windows was the gaming platform :-)
        A Grain of Salt
      • Someday......

        You might find that you actually know what it is, that you are talking about. Answer me this, why are ALL of the top several hundred supercomputers running linux? Not one of them runs Windows. Why?

        Come back when you learn something.
        linux for me
        • What a daft comparison

          Because supercomputers != mass market consumer computer and to compare the two show's how moronic you are.

          Windows isn't aim at supercomputers and super computers hardly run Ubunutu or some other user friendly Linux distro do they now.
          • Well...

            <b>Well I'll give him credit for pointing out that Linux can't seriously described as </b>"Pre-early-Alpha-Preview Phase"<b> if the worlds most powerful computers arerunning it, eh?
    • What's windoze?

      Don't know what that is. Can you explain that term?

      • windoze..

        It's that operating system that's cleaning the clocks of linux and mac. :P
  • The shippingseven blog....

    I love the title of the 1/17 blog post "Who copied who?" That is one comical implication considering Microsloth has never met an original idea of someone else's that it hasn't tried to steal.
    • Wait... aren't you talking about Apple?

      And what's Microsloth?
  • Windows 7 is unlikely to include major architectural changes

    This is, of course, no surprise since the Bloatfarm will exert maximum force to defend its monopoly.

    No matter. The Windows XP/Vista/Win7 (actually, if you count all the variations of Windows, it is closer to double the seven but then, who has any trust in MSFT anyway, even in the smallest of details) version will, I have no doubt, be obsolete and utterly irrelevant upon its release.

    In any matchup between Win7(or, better: Win14) and the other modern OS, Apple 10.5, can there be any question of what will (has been) the better OS?

    While MSFT will again obfuscate its marketing (The Wow is [AGAIN???} Now?), clearly the Apple strategy of relentless, organic, measured, evolutionary change is the better developmental model.

    Let us all admit the obvious: Vista was a time, money and results failure. It was vastly over budget and in time. Its differential advantage was, at best, zero; almost all of the added hardware to support it has been a deadweight cost to consumers who have had to acquire the added overhead just to accomodate a failed OS. No one can claim that this is innovation or progress.

    Moreover, Vista appeared upon the scene at least three years late after endless [mostly] internal restarts.

    The obvious conclusions are that:
    1. MSFT management failed to produce anything of substance'
    2. MSFT squandered somewhere north of three billion dollars on a stillborn OS.

    What possible reason is there to think that the asylum will produce better results when the same nuts are still running it.

    Answer: NONE.

    Over time, financial markets will begin to discount the value of the expected MSFT management failure and bid the MSFT stock down again. (There is a reason why its stock is barely marginally higher than five years ago: MSFT management has been, at best, an abject failure at delivering real results; can you say them: Playsforsure, Xbox, Zune, WM, Vista, [fill in your own blanks]

    Given its rapid increase in share, we should expect that Apple will produce more innovations that make computing easier/better and capture more users.

    Yes, Apple may cost marginally more [though this is, by now extremely questionable, even without computing terminal cashout values for used computers] but its daily exemplary results are becoming more obvious each day.

    Add to this the ability to "selectively pollute" an Apple computer via VMWare or Parallels or some other program with Windows, when absolutely necessary, and the reason to undergo a daily regimen of Windows root-canal work seems not to be compelling on any level.

    Simply put, there is no further excuse to use Windows with its bloated overhead and lack of results.

    Windows is, or very soon will be, an irrelevancy, a saurischian relic from the days when a cabal of ethically challenged individuals could use their dirty trick to hoodwink and abuse much of the computing public into using the decidedly inferior MSFT products.

    What will finally bring down the entire heap of bloat and dung is simple: the realization that what it produces is simply tawdry, unrealiable and unworkable junk, just like Zune, WM, Playsforsure, Xbox, Vista and all the other marginal junkware (both hard and soft) that this flamboyantly distended mess has produced.

    In short, MSFT will be seen for what it has become - simply an irrelevancy.

    Good riddance to this dungheap.
    Jeremy W
    • Good riddance to you too...

      Keep on dreaming...and don't hold your breath while waiting for Microsoft to become irrelevant.
      • It is happening as we write

        Look at how quickly the iPhone has taken off. It is selling faster than that heap of useless, unreliable WM junk.

        I personally have used 10 or 11 WM "smart" phones from a variety of manufacturers. Each was, because of its dungheap, bloatfarm pedigree near to useless. In the several years that I used them, I cannot think of a single week when any one of them ever operated as promised by their manufacturers or by MSFT.

        The truth is that, daily, MSFT products are becoming more irrelevant for the simple reason that others are providing better, more reliable ways to accomplish tasks.

        WM is but one example; those wo used Playsforsure are another segment; likewise Zune, Xbox, Vista and [fill in the blank].

        When the largest, best capitalized computer products company produces such a conglomeration of Vista junk that large segments of the market shun it, you know that it is becoming daily less relevant.

        Add to that its lambent failure in Search [where MSFT actually was cooking the books to make it appear it was gaining market share] and you know that you are dealing with what can only be described as a saurischian organization mired in the dung of its past.

        Good riddance to the whole lot of them.
        Jeremy W
        • You're joking, right?

          WM is useless? How is that? So it doesn't make calls at all? Are you saying it's not the most extensible OS compared to the iPhone (where you have to pay $20 for stupid add-ons!)? You can't do Office stuff on those phones? You can't go to the internet?

          Wow, it's amazing how Microsoft is still able to sell millions and millions of a 'useless' product. Are people that dumb or what? Though I serious doubt your claim that you've tried 10 or 11 different WinMo devices.

          PlayForSure is still active. People still buy those devices, people still use the official stores from them. I don't get what you mean by that.

          Zune's been the only other biggest PMP platform since the iPod, and it's already made it's way in, giving far better hardware quality, and extra features that iPods/iTunes still don't have as of 6 years already.

          Xbox is one of the hottest selling console platforms (though Wii is coming close!) out there, and I don't see at ALL where it's 'another' MSFT mess-up. Xbox is the one who revolutionized online gaming community, tons of great accessories (that also happen to work with Windows games), among other things that video consoles nowadays probably wouldn't be caught dead without with. You must be drunk if you say Xbox is a screw-up.

          Vista isn't a hot-seller or anything, but from most people I here in real life, it's not that bad. In most cases ok to good, and a few actually love it. Only a few people I know said they truly despised it. Of course on the internet it's different where you have bots running the anti-MS parade, and a few geeks who have nothing better to do than to bash.

          Not saying that Microsoft has never screwed-up, but most of these things you list shouldn't be counted as screw-ups, because you're just making it all up.

          And what failure in Search? What could you possibly mean by that. It's image and video search by far exceeds Google's similar offerings. I didn't hear about 'MSFT cooking the books' but would love to see this reliable link that claims this.

          If anyone is a failure it's Y!. Their search sucks, and their latest drops in marketshare show that.

          Good riddance to you.
          • 'MSFT cooking the books' but would love to see this reliable link that.....

            claims this...........

            Microsoft have always been experts
            at "Cooking The Books"


            Cooking the Books: How Clever Accounting
            Techniques are Used to Make Internet


            Accounting masterclass: how Cisco and MS
            avoid tax


            SOURCE: Parish & Company ?? Copyright April,
            18 2000. All Rights Reserved Microsoft Now
            Pays No Federal Income Tax Based Upon The
            Success of Its Financial Pyramid Scheme


            Why Microsoft's Stock Options Scare Me


            Be careful what you ask for. You might just
            get it!
            Ole Man
          • Yes, but...

            I actually have owned and used 10-11 WM phones, going back to the ill-fated Siemens SX56. None of them worked as promised; all were the tortures of the damned to configure; each configuration was so fragile that even an incoming email might wipe out the configuration. Then, configuration could take up to two hours to re-accomplish because the "brightboys" at MSFT never worked through the actual process. My latest model was the AT&T Tilt which, while better, was still grossly unsatisfactory because of complicated configuration and fragility. WM like each and every device/service MSFT makes only works if you have a fully staffed IT department at your beck and call 27/7/365. The company is, by now, so habituated to laying off its design flaws and shortcomings on a downstream I department that it is INCAPABLE of producing anything right. Look at the disaster of Vista, clearly an OS mess that no individual should ever have tried to use. Even many MSFTers were struck dumb on how bad it is.

            Sure Playsforsure is still being used but it is a orphan whereby MSFT has, once again, screwed its customers, both OEM and end user. Have you tried to move Playsforsure to your Zune. I didm't think so.

            Have you looked at the thousands of Xbox devices that incinerated themselves. Why, even the grotesquely ethically challenged Gates has confirmed its problems.

            Long story short: MSFT is now the new GM - a company with a dazzlingly damaged reputation, a company that actually lives down to its reputation. The default assumption for each and every MSFT product is that it is vastly overhyped junk. That has been true of WM, Xbox, Vista, Zune, MSFT Search and - well, can you name other recent MSFT products that have not been vastly overhyped junk? I'm waiting....... Didn't think so.

            Sometime soon (probably 2008) Wall Street will collectively get tired of more failures and decide that Ballmerian failure boredom has been enough and push for his`replacement. He can then become a vaudevillian monkey.

            MSFT is a burned out case producing a solid string of failures.

            One last point. While the Xbox may garner many users, it has not made a profit ever and, based on the extensive financial analyses I have seen, can NEVER earn its cost of capital. That, dear fellow, is the solid definition of a business failure. Corporations are, after all, in the business of earning a profit on their products.

            MSFT CAN NEVER EARN A PRIFIT ON XBOX. No matter what it will do, MSFT loses money and depletes its shareholder capital.

            Simply put, MSFT is a product failure creation machine that results in shareholder value destruction.
            Jeremy W
          • WTF

            XBox broke even months ago with the release of Halo3,, then camoe oout mass effect, and wait wait, wait...assassin creed.

            i hate bloggers when no facts just opions... maybe you should hit purburty.
          • Are people that dumb or what?

            Now that you mention it, yes. Many are dumb. They keep repeating the same mistakes when they have forgotten the original objective.

            Originally computers were supposed to be labor saving/enhancing devices, not an excuse to lard further daily complexity (spam, virus, etc.) on us.

            Unfortunately, a rogue dishonest corporation, using dirty tricks managed to capture the great majority of computers. That unethical and illegal set of acts become more irrelevant daily as more users jailbreak from the Windows tyranny.

            They no longer need to settle for shoddy junk unreliable products that simply do not work right. The vast majority of MSFT products are ill conceived, poorly designed (how can we shovel in more "features"?) even more poorly engineered and finally, unethically marketed.

            Briefly, the public is tired of the same old MSFT lies repeated ad nauseum. If you doubt this, go here:


            There is the testimony of hundreds of people who got tired and fed up with the same old despicable MSFT lies about "The Wow is Now! and used their heads. The learned that MSFT more and more is primarily a purveyor of shoddy, fourth rate unreliable junk. Many have decades or experience with MSFT products; many are bitter for having been lied to repeatedly.

            Long story short: yes, many MSFT people ARE dumb. They simply repeat their actions when they have forgotten their objectives.

            Using a computer does NOT have to be an awkward, time consuming and silly experience. You choose to do that when you use shoddy junk (Vista, Xbox, WM, Playsforsure, Outlook, etc.) from MSFT.

            Break loose! Come up for air! Do not be suffocated by all the MSFT deceit!
            Jeremy W
        • Calm down - a little

          Although I agree for the most part with your distaste for MSFT, they are not going anywhere. Corporations for some reason jumped on board with them with Window 3 & 95, and that is a giant inertia that will keep going for a LONG time. MSFT will dominate the OS & office markets(not to mention all of the specialized business software that is only available for Windows) in the business world for the forseable future. And I have to confess that I really like my Xbox 360. Sure I had to take the first one back because of the "red bars of death"(1/3 of 360's are essentially irretrievably defective - really disgraceful), but the games are fun and run just fine(even with the horrible interface outside of the games).

          Where MSFT is becoming irrelevant is that OS & offices software is sort of analogous to the steel industry. Sure people still need it and want it, and there will always be ton of money in it, but the profitability is marginal & it is a commodity. All of the growth & innovation in technology in other areas and MSFT has been for the most part a failure here. Name one new product line other than Xbox they have rolled out in the last 15 years that has been successful(MSNBC?). Online content, portable devices, communications, digital content - where are they? I know they have been pouring a ton of money in to online advertising, but this is yet ANOTHER commodity.
          • Really?

            "And I have to confess that I really like my Xbox 360. Sure I had to take the first one back because of the "red bars of death"(1/3 of 360's are essentially irretrievably defective - really disgraceful), but the games are fun and run just fine(even with the horrible interface outside of the games)."

            <b>Seems like you really like the games, not your Xbox, no?