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back to article Will Microsoft parachute Windows 7 in early?

Redmond has refused to spike speculation that it is racing to pump out its successor to Vista – Windows 7 – earlier than originally expected. Windows 7 (AKA Blackcomb then Vienna) had initially been rumoured to hit the market in 2010, but expectations are rising that it will make a crash landing in the second half of 2009. …

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Gates Halo

As Long as it works!

But could we really be sure? KC

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Linux

Vista Replacement

I thought Ubuntu 7.10 is the Vista replacement, it was for me...

Only Kidding all OS's have there place, even Vista or Windows 7, 8 or 9

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but shurly

windows 7 (aka cr*p face) will just be vista with bits on

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How do I count thee?

I have never understood this numbering scheme. By my count, shouldn't this be Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (5), 2000 (6, and ME doesn't count), XP (7), Vista (8), "Vienna" (9).

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Do they care?

"Could this be Microsoft execs having Vista panic attacks behind closed doors?"

I don't understand this. If Vista doesn't sell surely MS makes money on XP. So why panic? $$$ is being earned anyway.

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Paris Hilton

The greatest accomplishment of the devil...

It amuses me that in the midst of world-wide feedback that Vista is the pariah of Microsoft, Microsoft still sticks to claims of wide adoption and great feedback.

I provide service to about a dozen regular business customers who have all shied away from Vista. They have either been warned off by professionals, industry analysts, or got it on a home computer and did not like it. One office got Vista on a couple of laptops and these laptops have nothing but problems.

The problems with Vista are very real, and I see where Microsoft will silently throw Vista off the bridge wearing cement shoes to sleep with the fishies and ME.

Paris, for the fishies and ME.

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Gates Halo

Not including the delays?

You've missed out the obligatory delays from Redmond. H2 2010 will be the actual delivery date at least.

Maybe this is just a ploy in the way that some people set their clocks 10 minutes fast to ensure they're not late?

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Late features

Surely Windows 7 is just going to be all the bits that they left out of Vista as they ran out of time? So windows 7 will just be what Vista was promised to be late. Perhaps Microsoft have realised that their releases are always late and so by aiming to be early they may actually hit on time?

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remember Windows ME?

It too was the last stab at dolling up an overworked OS, and was replaced as soon as it was released.

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Paris Hilton

Lets hope they learn from their mistakes.

Hopefully, Vista will teach Microsoft that people don't want slow bloated operating systems with hundreds of multimedia bolt-ons, that need half a gig of ram just to boot to the desktop. Surely there is a market (business) for a simple stable operating system with no bundled crap and no integrated web browser (Notepad and Calculator can stay!)

We will never ever install Vista here, it looks too much like a toy to be classed as a serious business tool and the recommended specs are way too high for a business to Roll out thousands of pounds worth of hardware upgrades across the offices just so that we can have an even more bloated media player.

Hopefully MS will release "Windows 7 - Business edition" or "Windows 7 - User that has a Clue edition"

more likely they will release "Windows 7 - Bloatware standard" and "Windows 7 - Bloatware Megabundle"

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Go

Drop the Windows moniker?

Would it be better to drop "Windows" from the brand name?

Maybe to call it Microsoft Vienna (for example)

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Ash
Thumb Down

What in the blue sh*t?!

They release a shitty (non)operating system late, with half of the features which made it reasonable removed, wich breaks a lot of 3rd party applications and had almost NO hardware support out of the box, and which nobody with any shred of common sense has avoided like AIDS, and then they have the audacity to flip those who did adopt it off and shake the "it'll be out of date next year" stick again!

Please, someone make a linux distro which works out of the box, plays games, and introduces decent support for developers to create apps for the platform.

We'll pay. We will pay quite a lot.

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Gates Horns

Since when?

"Pulling such a major release forward would be out of character for Microsoft."

Since when? Microsoft has been releasing software that isn't ready/finished since the beginning!

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seth

interestingly, you like totally missed out NT dude, probably the best windows everrrr

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Gates Horns

Re: How do I count thee?

3: NT3

4: NT4

5: 2K

5.01: XP

6: Vista

7: 7

Obviously there must have been something before NT3 - possibly (assuming MS counts from 1)

1: DOS

2: 3.x/95/98/ME

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Coat

You are counting it wrongly

Seth Galitzer,

Windows 95, 98 and ME were all windows 4 (v 4.00, 4.10 and 4.90 respectively). XP was windows 5, Vista is windows 6 and the next one will thus be 7.

2000 wasn't part of that numbering system. There was windows NT3, NT4 and 2000 (NT5) and then that series was killed off when NT5 (2000) and windows 4 (ME) were joined before becoming XP.

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Thumb Down

It doesn't matter.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time wondering about Windows 7.

Microsoft has consistently shown that they know only one way to "improve" a product; make it bigger and more bloated. When the market rejected Windows ME, they were able to sidestep to the leaner and more stable Windows 2000 and its offspring, Windows XP.

But there's no escape route this time. Vista is shameful and we all know that its successor will be even bigger and more bloated, with a collection of new features that no one wants.

I'm staying with XP for as long as possible. After that, I just don't know.

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Gold badge

XP

"I don't understand this. If Vista doesn't sell surely MS makes money on XP. So why panic? $$$ is being earned anyway."

It's called return on investment. If you blow billions on a product that fails then it's pretty serious. Especially when the competition surges ahead.

Bad for Microsoft's reputation too.

I don't think at this time that you can play Blu-ray or HD-DVD under XP? I thought that was one reason for Vista, the limitations on graphics cards and monitors. Secure channels only.

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Coat

Numbering scheme

Presumably the numbering scheme is limited to NT based versions. So after NT4, we have 2000 (5), XP (6), Vista (7 - beta), and Windows 7 to come.

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Re: Counting

MS ditched the Win3.x/95/98/98SE/ME codebase after ME - the numbering there doesn't mean much for these former "Consumer" OSes - enterprise should've been on Windows NT through 3.5 and 4 (through all 6 service packs) at this time.

Since then, the numbering all followed the Windows NT scheme with NT4 succeeded by Windows 2000 (5 - "completely new", DRM, etc), XP, (5.1 - new UI skin and some incremental improvements over W2k), Vista (6 - more DRM no-one seems to want but MS)... and then into the murky future.

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RE: How do I count thee?

At a guess....

Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (4.5), 2000 (5), ME (4.6), XP (5.5), Vista (6), "Vienna" (7).

Based on Codebase, i.e. jump to 32 bit dropping the non-nt kernel base, security re-writes as major version increases.

Saying that, the numbering scheme should really ignore 3.5 and 9X/ME as the current code base is from the NT4 tree, and hence uses that numbering scheme. It happens to co-incide well though.

(and yes, it too some jiggery-pokery to get the numbers sensible, then work backwords to what MS would think are reasons for a major version jump.

Question is, what will make & different enough from vists to be called a major version jump?

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kinda worrying...

..if its true, it will leave lots of people up the (vista) creak and i doubt any PC running vista (now) will be able to run it to its fullest

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@Seth

Windows 2000 is really NT5. XP is just NT5.5. Presumably, then, Vista is NT6.

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Thumb Up

2nd death knell for Vista

The 1st was the fact that nobody wants, needs nor likes it (well almost nobody). Now, 2nd, it is to be replaced before almost anyone has bothered to look at it beyond those who have been force-fed it by the likes of pc world. Truly, it is the 2nd coming of WinME.

Now, will the next one be a slimmed-down version of it or the rather more expected ultra-mega-super-you-thought-vista-was-bloatware behemoth that we are all dreading?

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The Dilemma

I not sure this really changes Microsoft's underlying sales problem, which is that most users (and more importantly clients) get pretty much all the functionality and resiliance they'll ever need with Windows2000.

Everything they've done since then has been bells and whistles. For example what was the rationale behind renaming the long standing "Add/Remove Software" option from Control Panel in Vista? In what way was the old option failing to do it's job?

The more they just needlessly fiddle about with it the more frustrated I become. Perhaps if their next OS didn't need a Dual-Core PC with 2Gb of memory and a monster graphics card just to run they'd make some sales, but what do I know...

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W2K was Windows 5

Windows 2000

Microsoft (R) Windows

Version 5.0 (Build 2195: Service Pack 4)

Copyright (C) 1981-1999 Microsoft Corp.

This is still my companies main developer OS.

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Alert

Real version numbers

Windows 2000 = NT5

Windows XP = NT5.1 (not 6, not 5.5, not ME+2000, not 5.01)

Just type "winver" at the command line to see the real version numbers

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Jobs Horns

MS Slogan: Semper Deterior

The problem is one of attitude at MS. Their OS releases are always bigger and slower. If they don't refactor the code, then Win7 is doomed to be even worse.

The bottom line is that MS is a SW marketing company. Their SW development teams are simply hopeless.

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@Ash

"Please, someone make a linux distro which works out of the box, plays games, and introduces decent support for developers to create apps for the platform."

I think they call that MAC OS. As much as it pains me to admit it (I'm a windows guy). MAC might be doing for Unix/Linux what no one else has managed to do - give it a standard. If other Linux platforms can adopt the installer process, and someone can write a free DirectX equivalent for Linux or Mac I would switch to that OS in a second.

For me 2000 was the last ok windows. XP is still too bloated for my taste. I'm really getting tired of trying to defend windows to customers when MS keeps making dumb mistakes. I wish Gates hadn't given up control back in 2000. It seems as soon as he did the decline of MS accelerated. He might just want to make money but he also learns from his mistakes. An ability the current board seems to be lacking.

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Linux

Been here before...

MS have released complete snafus before...anyone remember the misbegotten wretch that was DOS 4.0 and how relieved we all were when, years later, DOS 5.0 was released?

By the way, you need an icon for us grumpy old men with antediluvian memories.

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Stop

@Ash

"which nobody with any shred of common sense has avoided like AIDS,"

Wait. What?

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Vista 'not so bad'

Well, some poor user has to stick up for the OS in a barrage of obligatory Vista-hate, so it might as well be me.

I like Vista, I have no software / hardware problems, and it runs faster than XP does on the same machine (dual boot). It's taken a while to get used to it, but now I find myself trying to do 'Vista things' at work where I still use XP.

Releasing Windows 7 so soon would be a mistake I reckon. XP only got where it was by sticking around long enough for everything to work. MS need to stick with Vista until it properly matures.

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cant unbloat Vista now

as the title says - MS cant unbloat Vista now because ppl would accuse them of either bad programming or intentional bloating.

And so, they're forced to creating something 'new' and call it "innocative" and "reprogrammed from the ground up"

i'm betting it'll be running a whole lot smoother with less memory requirements than todays vista

If vista wasnt so bloated it would probably have been somewhat of a success story since XP is old and ppl really do want new stuff once in a while.

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XP was a minor upgrade to 2000

NT5 was renamed Windows 2000. I still have a NT5 beta somewhere. XP is NT5.1. I lost interest in Windows after that so I'm not sure what 2003 and Vista version at.

The NT branch was completely separate from the 1, 2, 3.x, 9x, Me branch.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Versions

There are TWO parents to Windows with different Numbering.

XP is

C:\>ver

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

Server 2003 is I think 5.2 or so

Vista is NT 6.0

The earliest NT is 3.1, as the previous codebase in that tree was called MS OS/2 (yes MS, not IBM, I've seen a copy, 1989 I think). the Warp is post NT2.0 / AKA MS OS2 and joint IBM/MS OS/2 is earlier than 1989. (NT 1.0 effectively).

I have NT3.1, Nt3.5, NT3.51 (patch due to Win95 APIs used by 16bit MS OFFICE 95 made to NOT run on Win32), Nt4.0, NT2000 (NT5.0), XP (NT 5.1), Server2003 (NT 5.2 I think).

The Win2.0, Win286, Win386 Win3.10, Win 3.11, WinFWG3.11, Win95, Win95a, Win98, Win98SE, WinME is not an OS, but a GUI layer on DOS.

(I have all those except Win ME)

ver at cmd (NT) or ver at Command (DOS based Windows) will show version.

I may either wait for Win NT 8, stick with XP or run Linux. Actually I have 3 versions of Linux on my XP via VMWare.

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Stop

Count them...

"I have never understood this numbering scheme. By my count, shouldn't this be Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (5), 2000 (6, and ME doesn't count), XP (7), Vista (8), "Vienna" (9)."

No. 95 is (4), and 98 and Me are both just 95 with bells on, so they're all (4). 2000 was never meant to be a home OS. So Vienna is 7.

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Anonymous Coward

@ foof

Yeh i remember the win2k beta that had the XP luna interface before they ditched loads of features to get it out the door intime. This is really why XP came out so soon and ME was borne this should never of been if MS had managed to stick to a roadmap.

And as mentioned above the Windows 7 referes only to the NT line of Windows OS which have nothing to do with 3x or 9X.

MS are in a tough place now i think pretty soon Vista will be ok but it's image is now ruined. Do MS stick with it or just release a new version that's much better (here you go peolpe all solved) but this will rub people who have bought Vista the wrong way. I imagine they'll feel like people who bought ME.

Having said that i've not really had any issues with Vista at all and the imaged based deployment is a dream.

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Start from the ground up..

..is what Microsoft need to do with the next version of Windows.

Rebuild everything, so they end up with a very streamlined OS with non of the legacy support included.

To provide 'legacy support', they should provide application level virtualisation - so every old application runs in its own virtual machine.

They'd need to aim it at a similar 'recommended' spec as Vista (or less if not using legacy support).

Sure, it'd cost us an extra 2-5gig diskspace for the 'virtual XP', but it'd be worth it.

Spend 5 years doing that and we'll all be happy.

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Boffin

Windows versions

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.1

Windows NT 3.1

Windows 3.1 for Workgroups

Windows 3.11 for Workgroups

Windows NT 3.51

Windows 95 (4.0)

Windows NT 4

Windows 98 (4.1)

Windows 2000 (5.0)

Windows Me (4.9)

Windows XP (5.1)

Windows Vista (6.0)

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Bronze badge
Joke

This means nothing to me.

Well? someone had to say it.

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Gates Halo

Windows 7 - wake me up when it matures

Doesn't matter if they rush out Windows 7 - I'm still going to wait for at least 1 service pack. Let someone else discover the problems with the new OS and I'll move when it actually gives me something stable to use.

Vista sounds like I may have to wait until SP 2 or 3 though - they need to be able to sort out the basics like copying files around before I'll give it a try.

I'm on XP now - but it was only usable after the second SP.

If I want to play games then it has to be windows (sorry Apple and linux - but that's the way the world works) - but I can be patient and wait until something actually needs the latest system (and Direct X 10) that I want to go to. The game Crysis was supposed to be "it" but the difference in graphics is marginal at best. Then again the games companies know that the 360 console uses DirectX 9 - why bother making something that will only run on Vista instead of something that will run on Windows 2000 upwards and the (very profitable) Xbox 360 with some minor porting?

Now if I could only get the games companies to stop dumbing down PC games since they're developing for the 360 as well then I'd be satisfied. I have a mouse and keyboard, not a gamepad.

"Good Bill" icon due to the rarity of it being seen...

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Thumb Down

The only reason I am still running Windows...

... is .NET and Visual Studio. These are by far the best development tools known to man. But I have to say, that is because I am still running XP. My friend recently bought a laptop, and all he could find were ones with Vista pre-installed. Sooner or later it seems like MS will end support for XP, and then I am not sure what to do. Umbuntu and Java I guess :-S

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Gates Horns

Nice man at Comet said...

...Tough!!

When a colleague of mine attempted to purchase a laptop with Windows XP Pro installed rather than Windows Vista.

I had warned her of the appalling performance of Vista and driver issues with her current hardware. She explained to the nice chap at comet that she did not want a laptop with Vista. So she left the store after making her feelings known and went on-line and purchased one from Misco.

Why are these people not listening to their customers? She bought the exact same laptop that was on sale in Comet. The difference was that Misco offered it with XP Pro.

Microsoft please note - Vista is WORSE than ME. It is simply the worst OS to be FORCED onto users. Where is customer choice?

grrrrr......

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Anonymous Coward

Worthless speculation

Don't believe a word from MS until they've got an actual release.

Why?

Track record.

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Gates Halo

Same old 98 whinning

I love all the people crying about never switching to Vista it's so retro! reliving 2001 are we ?

I use vista on both my pcs and although i have had lists of bugs and problems sp1 rc fixed them all.

How are you going to use your pc in a few years if you stick with XP ? probably just like present 98 users do or rather don't.

I have never particularly liked XP so i welcomed Vista, it is bloated and memory intensive but then i though that of XP when i got it on my new laptop in 2002, my transition to Vista has been much smoother than the 98 > XP was.

Windows 7 will probably be alot more modular (like vista was supposed to be) X86 hardware will be running your phone, car and home by the time 09/10 rolls by so it would make alot of sense to be able to scale the OS to your hardware.

By the way everyone should consider that Vista requires between 1-2GB of ram to work well, I'm sure that 2GB will be minimum spec by next year so why would Windows 7 need to have a lower RAM requirement ?

Windows 7 will also be getting rushed seeing as Vista has no touch or gesture ala iPhone and leopard and that really will be the next big thing in OSes not to mention AMD and Intel rushing to integrate CPU & GPU which will totally redefine just how smart a GUI and user interface can be.

Stop living in the past with the win98 users and remember the tech industry moves fast XP will be almost useless in a year and a half because what it doesnt support will have become common place.

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Happy

Apple Playbook

Why not take a page from Apple and come up with major (pay for) updates/features/releases to the OS at least every 18 months? Just make sure that the features are cool looking, and if the don't work just "delete" them from the next release! Apple came out with OS 10.0 in 2000, 10..1 in 2001, 10.2 in 2002, 10.3 in 2004, 10.4 in 2006 and 10.5 in 2007. Each a paid update along with the typical "by the latest hardware to maximize your enjoyment" of the latest "release".

Now if Apple would allow their OS to be installed, easily on any other system board instead of hardwired on their own I would be very interested to run OS X on a Dell/HP/Toshiba/Sony or any other custom built computer system!

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Silver badge
Boffin

Branches

Versions of the DOS windows proir to 3.1 were frankly useless. Hence Excel & Word originally done for MAC.

While BSD is a nice version of UNIX, Apple abandoning the power PC and the real Mac OS is ultimately doomed. A good PC is cheaper and more reliable HW and Linux less frustrating OS. Why PAY for BSD / Linux? Hence Apple removing "computer" from company name. They are high markup reseller of "designer" low quality Chinese gadgets now. Read about iPod markups.

OS/2 is definately the pre 1993 1st release of NT as NT3.1

XP still has the OS/2 registry entries.

NT3.5 you could still choose NTFS or OS/2 HPFS as filesystem.

Windows Branches:

If it can only use FAT/FAT32 it's a GUI on DOS.

If it can read/write HPFS and/or NTFS then it's NT.

Real Linux/UNIX FS designers still dream about NT's token based security and Transactional FS that has has streams since ver 1.0. (though most apps don't use them). Try pulling out power during a write on XP and Linux EXt3 a dozen times on both and see which is most damaged (NT may be OK, Linux may be bad on 1st try)

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Gates Horns

Versions?

>Obviously there must have been something before NT3 - possibly (assuming MS counts from 1)

Real geeks count from 0. Microsoft can't actually count at all.

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Silver badge

XP 2002

April 2002 I got XP. I'm still running the same copy, never reinstalled on same 1.8Ghz P4 laptop. Beats New Core Duo 1.6GHz Toshiba laptops running vista.

I don't install rubbish, I have NT4/Win98 style classic desktop and all un-needed services off. No AV either. (silentrunners.org to check occasionally).

I've gone through upteen versions of Linux since then though.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Ryan Barrett

"Rebuild everything, so they end up with a very streamlined OS with non of the legacy support included."

Sounds a bit like Windows x64 which loses alot of backwards compatibility.

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