Windows 7 hits Milestone 3

Windows 7 hits Milestone 3

Summary: I have seen the future -- specifically Windows 7 Milestone 3 (Build 6780). I got a gander at the latest test build of Windows 7 briefly (courtesy of a source of mine) and was not allowed to take any screenshots. But it is real, it does exist and it is, indeed, in certain testers' hands inside and outside the company.


I have seen the future -- specifically Windows 7 Milestone 3 (Build 6780).

I got a gander at the latest test build of Windows 7 briefly (courtesy of a source of mine) and was not allowed to take any screenshots. But it is real, it does exist and it is, indeed, in certain testers' hands inside and outside the company.

From the quick glimpse I got of Milestone 3, it sounds like Bryant of AeroXperience was right on the money with his hypotheses about what's changed in the latest internal test builds. The latest build seems quite stable. The Ribbon user interface from Office 2007 is now part of WordPad and Paint. Home Groups -- the functionality formerly known in "Longhorn"/Vista as "Castle" -- is part of the new Windows 7 build.

I also noticed that the "Graphical Console," a k a PowerShell Version 2, seems to be part of the latest pre-release Windows 7 build.

(Looks like Stephen Chapman over at the UX Evangelist site got to see Build 6780, too, and has a lot more to say on Windows 7's Paint and WordPad.)

From what admittedly little I had a chance to see, Windows 7 does not look or feel like a major departure from Windows Vista.

Sources say there isn't an "M4" currently on Microsoft's Windows 7 schedule. Next up is likely some kind of preview build (which may or may not be distributed to those attending the Professional Developers Conference and/or Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in October and November, respectively.) After that, a broadscale Beta 1, which should be feature-complete and pretty much set in stone, is expected for mid-December.

Like my ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott said, it's not impossible for Microsoft to hit a 2009 release for Windows 7 if the first true beta doesn't go out until December. Such a move would not be unprecedented.

Do you think the Softies are going to get Windows 7 out the door in 2009, as they are hoping -- and maybe even early enough to make it onto new machines in time for Holiday 2009 sales?

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software


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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  • That's a great tagline

    "Windows 7: Now with WordPad and Paint!"

    I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will surely go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, that will be all fixed with $NEXT_VERSION. And they'll finally be ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF. Also there will be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It'll be awesome!

    I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.
    • Bizarre (NT)

      • it's obvious

        his trollbot warez bugged.
        • Obviously

          obviously, He probably has a discombobulated fratastatiated halt in his UND compiler that is causing a fault on the segway multi-path partitioner. It's fairly common with trollbots these days.
          • Windows 7...

            Will be a joke if it is rushed out like Vista was.

            Driver and Ap support had better be rock solid, and improved speeds for 64 bit options are the carrot needed to entice people.

            Otherwise people might as well go with Linux - Windows is supposed to be effortless - Linux is taking steps to make the change easy... Vista has frustrated enough people that Microsoft has to get back or the will start the trip down the slippery slope...
          • re: windows 7

            So, what you're saying is, if a small subset of drivers or apps aren't compatible, people will switch to an OS where 100% of their drivers and apps will be incompatible?

            Average users will never format and install another OS, it just doesn't happen.
          • "Average users will never format and install another OS"

            Happens all the time. Whether or not you are present is YOUR responsibility, and problem.

            If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise? Must not! You didn't hear it.
            Ole Man
          • "Happens all the time"

            A very small subset get upgraded, and not by "average users". Why is it that you believe I have to "be there" to witness, but you don't to state the opposite opinion?

            Also interesting to note you completely ignored the main point of my post. Cherry picker.
    • Yip

      That's the good old formula.

      But that's not news ;)
    • What exactly is your problem?

      If you don't like it, don't use it.
      • If only I could!

        "If you don't like it, don't use it."

        Don't have that option. Microsoft quit shipping the last decent version of Windows years ago.
  • Christmas Rules

    There's just no way that Mr. Trains Run On Time will miss the Christmas deadline. It will either be ready by July of 09, or not until July of 10 (read: hell will freeze over first), in time for OEMs to get new machines on the shelves in time. And with the last 2 years being such a bust for them (not even counting this Christmas, with Win7 possibly in beta, and screaming "wait, wait, wait!"), expect massive OEM pressure to get a new version out the door ASAP.
    Kip Kniskern
    • There's a fly in that (logic) oinment...

      OEMs can push and push all they want, but after the lessons learned from releasing Vista before it was ready for prime time, I just don't see Microsoft rushing 7 out the door before it's ready.

      If they do release another undercooked turkey, their credibility will be seriously compromised. They NEED to make sure 7 is finished, solid and reliable before it goes out the door.
  • Careful with the generalizations there, kid, you'll put your eye out - NT

  • Now

    He is starting to sound like Mike Cox :) More euforic and less incorrect facts.
    • Actually...

      Mike Cox does satire.

      Lovey is serious. That's the difference.

      The other difference is Mike Cox, when he's serious knows of what he speaks.

      Lovey is willfully ignorant and a bit of an idiot besides.


      • Where is Mike BTW?

        Haven't seen any good stuff lately
  • God save us all

    stability, scalability, reliability, security, and robustness? How can you use any of those words in the same sentence as Vista? What planet do you live on? In the real world, Vista is reviled, despised, hated. I do not know one person who likes it better than XP. By the way, I run a repair shop and have over 2600 clients, I think that's a pretty good sample.
    • your anecdote

      is as balanced as it is believable.

      2600... bet your repair shop's named after caption crunch too?
    • I would counter that

      I am also a moonlight PC tech for the last 15 years. I find a lot of people love Vista, but personally I do not.