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

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.

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

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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:

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

Any questions? Pop them in the TalkBack section!