Microsoft officials on January 30 reiterated that there will be no public Beta 2 of Windows 7 and the next milestone will be the Release Candidate (RC) test build of the operating system.
On the "Engineering Windows 7" blog, Windows development chief Steven Sinofsky reiterated what officials stated less plainly at the Professional Developers Conference last year: There will be just one beta of Windows 7.
Sinofsky emphasized in his new post that Microsoft is not sharing any new ship date targets for Windows 7. As has been known for a while now, Microsoft's delivery plan for Windows 7 is to deliver a public beta, an RC (it's not clear at this point if that will be public or private) and then release to manufacturing (RTM). The RC will be"Windows 7 as we intend to ship it," Sinofsky blogged. More about the RC from his post:
"We will continue to listen to feedback and telemetry with the focus on addressing only the most critical issues that arise. We will be very clear in communicating any changes that have a visible impact on the product. This release allows the whole ecosystem to reach a known state together and make sure that we are all ready together for the Release to Manufacturing. Once we get to RC, the whole ecosystem is in “dress rehearsal” mode for the next steps."
Microsoft's "official" response when asked for a ship-date target for Windows 7 remains three years after Vista's general availability date (which was January 29, 2007). Many customers and partners believe Microsoft is continuing to target Q3 of this year as its RTM date.
For those hoping Microsoft might rush Windows 7 and release it now? Don't hold your breath.