The edition of Windows 7 beta that we tested is the "Build 7000" edition that has been making the rounds; Microsoft has told us that the official version, which we believe will be released later this month, is not quite available yet.
To get these screenshots, we installed Windows 7 in a VMware virtualised environment, booted it up and played around to get a feel for some of the new features. We are also planning to publish some more detailed thoughts after installing the software on a dedicated machine.
The Windows 7 boot-up logo (seen in a transition frame here) is fairly familiar.
The install process is quite similar to that of Windows Vista.
The installation process gives you various options.
The beta has its own licence.
We installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 beta.
Similar to Vista, the Windows 7 installation process gives you a short progress report.
We had to restart the machine only once during installation.
That Windows logo again.
Choosing a user name and computer name.
Microsoft is attempting to make it easier to set up home networks with the new "homegroups" feature.
A familiar desktop with some subtle changes.
The "what's new" screen.
The display settings screen has been vastly simplified, although we couldn't get it to display the 1,680x1,050 resolution we normally use on our 22-inch monitor LCD.
The Windows menu has been simplified.
Windows 7 displays attached devices in a much more humane way.
Explorer looks relatively similar to Vista, but with some subtle changes that reflect simplification.
The Windows 7 control panel.
The taskbar has a much wider range of functionality than previous versions of Windows.