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New UI rumours for Windows 7; I doubt it

Windows has taken a turn for the worst in the last few years with the rise and hype associated with Vista during the beta days, only to horrendously let us down, just like an OJ Simpson jury.Consistency is absolutely everything when it comes to technology - you buy a product because you have certain expectations, to perform certain tasks.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Windows has taken a turn for the worst in the last few years with the rise and hype associated with Vista during the beta days, only to horrendously let us down, just like an OJ Simpson jury.

Consistency is absolutely everything when it comes to technology - you buy a product because you have certain expectations, to perform certain tasks. Windows has always been the same. You expect Windows to have a certain look and feel to it as it has always been; clock on the bottom-right, Start menu on the bottom-left, and so on.

If Microsoft were to suddenly throw in a massive user interface change, a "radical" one which I have had sources consider, makes me question the motives for Microsoft's future in the Windows department. Are they deliberately trying to crappify Windows to make Midori so much more pleasing when it arrives?

Let us have a quick look at the evidence so far, which will hopefully persuade you against these rumours floating about.

This is the earliest build of Windows 7 I could find, build 6519. It's still very early on in development and naturally, as you would expect, still features the Vista-esque user interface. This would be considered very normal in the development process, as Windows XP sported the old NT interface for almost a year into its development.

And here in build 6956, only 400 builds further down the road, we have the current interface. Not much has changed visually, if I am entirely honest; the taskbar is "chunkier" and the Start orb looks different, and the icons are enlarged - but visually that's it.

Build 7106 leaked last week and we see exactly the same interface, except for a different build string. The difference here is that 7106 is within the release candidate "zone", but following the winmain path as opposed to the win7rc path, where build 7077 was the RC escrow build.

For approximately 350 builds now, the "new user interface" has been installed and ready to go, with the help of the Blue Badge tool, of course. The amount of work and energy gone into it just to be scrapped later on down the line is almost unthinkable.

The release candidate of any software is meant to be a stable, feature complete build which ensures a good quality of testing can be implemented as a result. In the case of Windows, it's too late in the development cycle to start changing major features of the operating system. If it's a case of simply changing a single line of code and a "secret interface" is revealed then fair enough, but Rafael would have found it.

I might be completely wrong. I have heard rumours there are two major announcements on the way soon, but my guess for one of them is the announcement of a public release candidate build. I can only guess what the other one could be...

Do you think Microsoft would be wise to leave Windows 7 as it is, or does the UI need a change? Will this affect the release date, do you think? Leave a comment.

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