back to article Microsoft says it again - no second beta for Windows 7

Microsoft has restated that its next milestone release for Windows 7 will be the Release Candidate test of the OS and not a second beta. The software giant’s Windows development boss Steve Sinofsky said in an official blog post on Saturday that there will only be one beta of Windows 7. Many will see that reaffirmation as a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ho hum

    lets call the second beta RC1


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7

    The Windows 7 emporer has no clothes. It's just Vista rebadged and tweaked a bit here and there.

    Don't get me wrong I actually like Vista but I won't be paying out for Windows 7 as it really is just a minor step-change from Vista.

  3. myxiplx


    So a rushed, tarted up version of Vista, with new security holes is somehow meant to *encourage* me to upgrade?

    Steve: I ain't going to be buying Vista *or* Windows 7 for our company, but I'll happily buy a hunk of whatever your guys are smoking these days!!

  4. kororas

    Too eager

    They seem to eager to get this one out, probably to make up for poor Vista uptake. Those of use who already have Vista should see no real reason to upgrade. Id prefer to see them take a little more time over their OS releases (5yrs) and bring whole new feature sets to the table rather than having to shell out every couple of years for some minor improvements.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No 2nd BETA?

    That just shows how bad Windoze 7 is.

    Why are people still paying for software and paying people to write software for them when there is better free stuff out there.

    Ubuntu is just as easy to use as Windoze

  6. Frank Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    No Deadlines

    "..We are taking a quality-based approach to completing the product and won’t be driven by imposed deadlines. "

    Such as pre-Christmas shopping period 2009 ?

  7. Mark H
    Gates Halo

    I'm upgrading

    Had a play about with Windows 7 and it seems very nice, I might even pay money to upgrade to it from Vista. And from what I've read it is more secure than XP which can only be a good thing.

  8. N Silver badge


    It will all be fixed in Windows 8

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Because Windows 7 is Vista SE

    It doesn't need a second beta. Can't you see it. It's the same old Vista with some UI tweaks and the default crap removed. It's barely more than a service pack.

    The world's gone stark staring mad. In times where we're all skint, everyone will *pay* Microsoft more money for a turd called Vista which has been lightly polished and comes complete with a little Windows 7 flag on a cocktail stick stuck in it.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  10. Geoff Mackenzie

    Re: Mark H

    "from what I've read it is more secure than XP" - that's what they said about Vista too. And XP come to think of it, but 2k is still the most secure release of Windows to date, last I heard. And that is a bit like saying it's their most pleasantly scented turd in the first place.

  11. Mike Hebel
    Thumb Down

    Not gonna do it...

    It's just Vista re-hashed so I see no reason to load it on any system. (Both my wife and my daughter use XP at home. I don't use Windows at all.)

    Microsoft will try EOLing XP again and their customers will force them to extend the deadline again. I can only hope that all this spurs the business I/T guys to look at other platforms for desktops and servers.

    I'm going to keep recommending XP as long as people are physically able to buy a copy.

  12. Hombre sin nombre

    Worth buying for some perhaps

    Namely those like me who still run XP on all of their machines. Must suck to have paid out for Vista.

  13. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @Because Windows 7 is Vista SE

    Indeed. It uses the same kernel, interface will be largely the same.

    You could call it Windows Vista proper, it's what Vista could have been if they hadn't had so many disasters when writing it.

  14. Joe

    I loved the beta!

  15. YumDogfood

    Not different enough

    The perception of Visa bad, even non-techies are aware of this (not getting into any OS wars here!) and I think MS see Windows 7 as a way to say "look! this is not Visa, its just a new and improved XP, things are back to normal people - Buy! Buy! Buy!".

    Unfortunately I think the perception of Win7 outside MS is going to be that its a cynical re-spin of Visa, but not so crap this time around. People will stick with XP unless the corporate world has confidence in it and there is no real reason for the home user to move except the usual push with regard to API lock-in (DirectX et al).

    MS need to have a product people want, desire. MS could have backward compatibility via VMs so that all the crufty corporate and home apps run in a compatibility mode (a strong point for MS) and go do something leading edge, or at least modern and trim the bloat down so you have spare cycles to do something new. They won't get out of the habit of locking people into their stuff but at least it could be a clean slate. That would sell, not another nearly identical release.

    My 2p worth.

  16. Peter Kay

    Not surprised

    This isn't a 'beta' - it's an excuse for PR. Whilst I'm sure Microsoft is taking notice of bugs, they have no interest in actually changing the rough bits of Windows 7.

    This is likely to be a worse deal for the consumer than Vista. Vista, for all its faults (most fixed in SP1) contains a great deal of new functionality even if some people disagree with it. Windows 7 is a refinement of Vista and so far, whilst there are a few nice enhancements, it really does appear to be a servicepack with a couple of bells on. Not impressed.

    Still, given that Snow Leopard is basically going to be a chargeable servicepack with bells on too, and Linux isn't showing enough signs of improvement either, I suppose Microsoft thinks it can freely screw us over.

    Unfortunately I think they're likely to get away with it. With a less intrusive UAC and lower memory requirements less users running a preinstalled version are likely to whinge.

  17. Andy Enderby
    Thumb Down

    Vista v Win7

    In the case of those lucky users whos hardware happily co-operates with Vista - why would they want to up grade - in the majority of cases, they'll have had their kit and Vista for less than 18 months. Why bother ?

    In the case of those who have had a bad experience with Vista - How about demonstrating a commitment to sorting out existing problems before you get anymore of our cash eh Redmond ?

    In the case of those happily still with XP - It works, cash is tight, Win7 hasn't been tested, why do we need to bin our old hardware and much of our software ? what's in it for us ?

    Corporate bean counter view - Restricted functionality (depending on sku), twice the hardware spec to do the same job and all we get is a poxy new front end and increased training costs ? Bugger off.

  18. Matt
    Thumb Up

    You're all idiots...

    They're not 'rushing' to get this out just because of Vista's low take up/problems. During the run up to the Vista release MS stated quite clearly that they didn't want to have another XP length lag between OS versions and that they expected the next version out in about 3 years. Vista was released to MSDN/Business in November 2006, public in January 2007. Three years after that would be November 2009 - January 2010. If they manage to get it out earlier, great, but they're hardly going all guns out to 'fix the vista problem'.

    BTW, this doesn't mean I think Vista is perfect, that Win7 is gods gift or anything, just pointing out the often forgotten facts relating to the release date.

  19. Brain
    Gates Horns

    still full of bugs

    But but but, win7 beta 1 is still full of bugs. Multi monitor support is broken, networking flaky, the start menu idea just smells of 'lets copy OSX again'. Do they plan to fix all this BEFORE release?

  20. s
    Thumb Up

    Have you tried it?

    I wonder how many of the above commenters have actually tried Windows 7? I'm guessing not one apart from Mark H otherwise their comments would be different.

    I like Vista. A lot. As long as it's on the right hardware (both my DTR laptops run it, and their quicker than they were under XP).

    On the wrong hardware it's terrible - my netbook nearly fell over running it. But... Running Windows 7 (only reason I used Vista on it was to upgrade) it flies. Much better than XP, and battery life equalling or matching XP depending on what I am doing with it.

    As the saying goes, try it, you may actually end up liking it...

  21. Thought About IT


    "Ubuntu is just as easy to use as Windoze"

    So what. Most people use applications, rather than an operating system.

  22. Gary

    Vista and Linux

    @Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 2nd February 2009 11:49 GMT

    That's all well and good, but as Thought About IT put it, people use applications, not operating systems. I work as a Unix admin at my day job, and run linux on my work desktop, so I know rather a fair bit about it. But try as I might (and I have tried hard), I just can't shake Windows from my life at home. None of the games I play are even supported for Mac, let alone Linux. And there are also some programs I use that they simply don't make for linux--not even close. So until OS X and Linux make more headway into the general market, for some people Windows is just a very necessary evil.


    To be fair, I only used the last Vista Beta, but it was quite noticeably slower than XP was. And at the time, the hardware I was using was still ahead of the curve. The thing that got me was UAC (*horrible* nagware "security") and poor video driver support. And the Aero Glass interface was a pig that didn't actually offer anything useful over XP (though it _did_ look snazzy). Everything about it ran slower than XP. I've read that SP1 fixes many things, but besides DirectX 10 support, it still doesn't offer me anything that I can't get in XP.

  23. Mike
    Thumb Up

    Have you tried it?

    Yes I've tried it. In fact its on the same machine I tried Vista on (2.8ghz - 2gb ram). While Vista was slow and clunky on this machine, Windows 7's performance was quite snappy. Only had a slight problem getting the sound to work but I got it ironed out.

  24. Efros

    If they wait too long

    The USofA will be a third world country in hock to their Asian bankers to the tune of several trillion dollars...oh erm wait a minute.

  25. Saucerhead Tharpe
    Black Helicopters

    Hmm, Paranoids sense Astroturf but

    "Had a play about with Windows 7 and it seems very nice, I might even pay money to upgrade to it from Vista. And from what I've read it is more secure than XP which can only be a good thing."

    A remarkably similar comment turned up on Slashdot earlier today

  26. Toastan Buttar

    What is an OS for ?

    Answer: It lets your software applications talk to your hardware devices and.......that's it, pretty much. Since the early-to-mid naughties, the three main home computer strands (Windows, OSX and *nix) have all performed that duty in a pretty decent manner. Has there really been any great step forward since those days that we can't live without ?

    Sure, Windows is improving security, KDE makes for some great eye-candy, Linux is supporting more hardware by the day, and OSX continues to be the heart of the Apple 'It Just Works' computer-as-appliance philosophy. But really, when it comes to having a platform for getting a computer to 'do stuff', all the major OSs have been fine and stable for years.

    And that's the reason all of my friends, family or colleagues aren't even slightly interested in Windows 7 - it won't let them do anything that they can't do just now, and there's even the chance (based on past evidence) that upgrading might STOP them from doing something they are perfectly able to do just now. It's also the reason why none are really interested in switching from Windows to Linux, and who can blame them, given some of our experiences of switching, even as tech-savvy geeks ?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    done with aero.

    I'm 35 and been a life mac user. I just (this week) switched and bought my first pc. I looked at it like this; they have the same guts, and MS may be ten years late, but if they can imitate OSX well enough at 1/2 the price...I'll use it. So... I am not having any problems with vista like I've heard, but I think this AERO crap looks childish. From what I hear windows 7 will not be a resource HOG like vista, so I'm very interested to see if they can clean up the interface and cut back on the resource HOGGING.

  28. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    fix BEFORE release?

    "But but but, win7 beta 1 is still full of bugs. Multi monitor support is broken, networking flaky, the start menu idea just smells of 'lets copy OSX again'. Do they plan to fix all this BEFORE release?"

    Oh of course. But if they don't have time there's always service pack 1. Or service pack 2. Or "Windows 8". Or they can just remove features and say they never intended to have them to begin with. Or blame it on driver problems "Oh, your multi monitor support is broken? Blame (Nvidia/ATI/Intel)." (This is what they did in Vista -- buggy and undocumented video driver code within Vista, rights restriction software preventing a debugger being run on the video drivers the companies are trying to develop, but OH NO, it's NVidia and ATI's fault the drivers were buggy.)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Windows 7 not too bad

    I decided to throw it at a 1.2GHz netbook... works fine with Aero etc.

    It's basically a non-annoying Vista. My recommendation has changed from "downgrade Vista Business to XP Pro" (which costs the users an extra £50 per time), to "avoid buying a new machine until Windows 7 is available".

    Like every OS other than Vista, it is there to manage your hardware and isolate tasks from each other without getting in your face (Vista combines the helpfulness of Bob with the perfect timing of Clippy).

    BTW Vista-infected users have reported that it is not as pathetically unresponsive on low-end hardware as it used to be, so there's something to be grateful for. Still I prefer to use my XP laptop rather than the office's dual-core rah-rah Vista machine.

  30. Jess

    WIndows 7 is much better than Vista

    I have an 8 year old 850 MHz Dell running WIndows 7 quite usably. This implies that a corporation could upgrade accross the board on most existing hardware.

    My initial reaction is that Windows 7 is quite good.

    for reference my initial reaction to previos MS OSes

    Win 95 - Good

    Win 98 - Poor

    WIn 2000 - Good

    Win XP - Vile

    Vista - Vile

  31. Mark


    Been very impressed with W7 on by my home PCs (a desktop running 64bit and the laptop running 32bit). They have both been rock solid stable, very good performance (better than XP..), and fix most of the annoyances that Vista had.

    My only 2 gripes (which also apply to Vista).

    Why does it take upto a minute to populate a fucking control panel or add/remove programs.

    Why is Add/Remove Programs (which used to be easy to find with the A in Add/Remove), now appear right in the middle of hoards of useless junk calling itself Programs and Features.

  32. Toastan Buttar

    @ Paranoids sense Astroturf

    "A remarkably similar comment turned up on Slashdot earlier today"

    It's entirely possible that it was from the same poster. I've got a different nom de plume on Slashdot and quite often post similar comments on similar topics both there and here.

    Putting on my disguise jacket before going to another well-known tech news site to comment.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not going to touch it

    I bought a fairly powerful PC not long before Vista came out (and I still consider it to be pretty powerful). I rather doubt it will run Vista though or, if it does, perform as well as XP does on it. I am not going to find out either as it is working well enough for me.

    Windows 7 won't be going near it as about the only "upgrade" I would consider is a copy of Media Center that was slightly less temperamental (although i have even managed to beat that into submission). I don't see why I should pay hundreds of pounds just for that, extra DRM and a drop in performance.

    No, the only replacement OS being eyed up is LinuxMCE/Mythbuntu and no Redmond muck. Why? Well I can uninstall compizfusion etc or anything else that appears to slow the system down and still keep my usuble PC. Thankyouverymuch.

    I run Ubuntu on an ancient P4 laptop and it does just dandy (and that's with running all the eye candy!)

    Windows? Pah. Change for changes sake, no real improvements, no real benefit, no point.

  34. Mike Gravgaard

    Suggestions for Windows 7

    i've tried the Windows 7 BETA and wasn't very impressed with it - the only thing that I liked was it was quick install time. Here are my problems:

    * Tried it on a P4 2.8GHz HT with 768MB RAM - ran like a dog (upped the memory to 1GB and it ran better - still slow though). This wasn't running Aero as it only has an Intel graphics card. Windows 7 does seem need 1GB RAM to be useable (with 768MB - CPU usage was around the 80% mark)

    * Tried it under VirtualBox on my Ubuntu 8.10 - run like a dog until I dropped the visual effects). My machine has 4GB RAM and a core 2 duo.

    Both of these were running without Aero and I wasn't too impressed with it. The problem I have is I don't understand the reason why business update to it.

    Something I would like Microsoft to do with Windows is to:

    * Low memory requirements.

    * Set visual affects to system performance (not bells & whistles mode by default).

    * Not set the user as a full blown Admin (this makes system admins jobs a nightmare as 3rd party software seems to want as run as administrator or be registry/system hacked to hell to get it working).

    * Better security in general.

    * Package management (a system like Debian/Ubuntu would be great).

    * Original ideas (stop stealing ideas from OSX and come up with some original ideas).

    * WinFS (have Microsoft given up with WinFS - it was meant to be part of Vista but they dropped it at the last moment).

    * 6 month update (no not like Ubuntu) - why don't Microsoft have a download area on their sites where you can download a later version of the Windows install CD with later drivers, security updates, service packs, etc all in one CD/DVD image - heck they could even use Bit Torrent and their own trackers as a distribution network.

    * One version - are Microsoft falling down the same track with Windows 7 as they did with Vista - do we really want/need 5 versions??

    These are also the same reason I won't be using it.

    I would like open source alternatives to take hold and if they can make an easy to use AD implementation that would be nice and maybe an easy to use (not Wine) way of migrating Windows only applications.


  35. Marty McFly

    Not me!

    Oh come on here! This is just the same Microsoft Windows release cycle we have seen before:

    "Early Adopters" to Microsoft are really the "Last Beta Testers". Why release a free beta when you can get schleps to pay for it?

  36. John Currie

    W7 is a classic!

    Seriously it is I have used every OS since MS-DOS 5 and it is the best GUI based OS by far in fact it's the best out of them all.

    Better than any apple or IBM flavour that is for sure.

    I have a new 2.5g 3gb ram tablet and it boots in 20 seconds from cold to usable and that's with office and kaspersky on it and video codecs and all the other bits and bobs.

    Vista on the same machine takes anywhere from 45 to 150 seconds, then the finger print software wont work, in W7 it's native!

    MCE rocks and so does the tablet functions.

    I also have a testbed on a media centre PC and yes it plays BBC HD h264 in MCE flawlessly with the MPC HC codec on via DVB-S2. (and records).

    Flame on..

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tested it...seems good

    Win7 - I am using it and I am getting to like it. I recently had to move to Vista due to work reasons (contracting for Windows only software house), wasn't very impressed. Had to test on Win7 and must say I am getting hooked to it. Win app developers will know that there have been few more releases since Beta 1, not for general public. Will recommend to people depending on the final price and their need.

  38. George

    Win7 beta 1 is already beta 2

    Win7 beta 1 really should be a beta 2. I believe that Vista is beta 1 of M$ new OS. Call it Windows 7 or Vista SE or what ever.

    Win7 is better than Vista in every way. It it perfect? NO but no other OS can pretend to be. I am unfortunate to have been forced to buy Vista with my new hardware. M$ has admitted that Vista was a flawed product, SP1 has fixed some bugs, but has not addressed the core issues (hardware incompatibilities and performance [resource hunger]).

    I say the Windows 7 upgrade should be free to all Vista customers, because Windows 7 is what M$ wanted Vista to be in the first place. M$ has sold an Alpha release (Vista pre SP1) as well as a beta release (Vista SP1) to its customers. If Vista was a car, it would be recalled and fixed.....

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @Have you tried it?

    Yes, I've tried it. And as I said a million times before, if it doesn't support the SBLive! (which is pretty decent and recent card, made in around 2003, Creative said it's not supported in Vista because it can circumvent UAA DRM at a hardware level thanks to it's What-U-Hear function), it gets no love from me. I refuse anything less than hardware-based when it comes to midi synthesizers. Also, it hated the HTPC's VFD panel, which I paid over 200 bucks in local currency for.

    Which brings me down to my base argument about Vi$ta and 7 in general- DRM go home. I will not buy an OS which tells me what I can and cannot do.

    Penguin, because the VFD and SBLive! works wonderfully well under Linux.

  40. Doug Glass



  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft as a losing brand

    I feel like Windows 7 will be the moment of truth for Microsoft...if they can't pull this one off, they will be sunk as a brand. About a week ago, John Tantillo (branding expert, a.k.a. The Marketing Doctor) featured Microsoft in his weekly brand winner/loser posts ( the loser, of course, with Apple as the winner).

    It's easy to criticize a company and not always easy to suggest feasible fixes, but Tantillo points out that Microsoft is out of touch with its Target Market. Apple has a lot of hype surrounding the release of its products in large part because they are delivering products that are Of Interest to their Target Market to begin with. They don't need to generate any sort of artificial demand; rather, their marketing (as good marketing should be) is a means of communicating with their Target Market. Microsoft, on the other hand, enjoyed a dominant position in the market for a long time "and because of the way it evolved, the company does not have real marketing in its bones."

    Tantillo's winner/loser post on Apple and Microsoft:

  42. Paul Uszak

    No more DRM?

    I'm a bit worried about no one talking about the DRM features in 7. There may or may not be any now, but if there aren't, what's to stop the media /film /music corps saying:-

    "Oh, you're deliberately not including DRM features in your new OS when they were included in the previous one? You're going to actively help the copiers /thieves /file sharers /terrorists? We don't think we can allow that..."

    and then will DRM worm its way back in (via updates perhaps)?

  43. Peter Kay

    @Mike Gravgaard

    XP is eight years old now.. don't you think Microsoft should be given some leeway on memory, especially as it's dirt cheap? A new build XP box these days needs a mimimum of half a gig to do anything sane, so I don't think Windows 7 needing a gig is that unreasonable.

    Whilst I am not entirely happy with what appears to be a tune up of Vista rather than anything significant, Windows 7 is considerably slimmer than Vista. I upgraded a (4GB, 2GHz) laptop to Windows 7. It uses half a gig less memory (1.2GB in use on x64, including integrated graphics memory) than in Vista on startup, and boots faster than the quad core desktop next to it..

    It's entirely possible to create your own slipstreamed patch CD, and has been since XP, or use WSUS.

    There is package management - that's what the Windows Installer is for. Alternatively if you mean dependency handling and online repositories, that's not really the way Windows works. There shouldn't be anything stopping people using the windows install for that though. I suppose converting something like cygwin to use Windows Installer might make a bit of a mess of it, but other than that where's the deficiency?

    Personally I still wouldn't touch VirtualBox with a bargepole, even though I have a soft spot for Innotek who originally developed it. It's far too buggy under multiple Unix OSes as well as Windows. VMWare Server or Virtual Server, OTOH, should be fine and I'm reasonably confident that crashes in those are due to the OS rather than the VM..

    As far as bling goes, whilst I agree, it isn't what sells. People like UI bling - it's one of the easiest 'improvements' to see. I'm not seeing an issue even on fairly crap X3100 Intel graphics - in fact it is quite fast, and the improvement over RDP is huge.

    I don't know how many versions of Windows 7 there will be, but I'd be prepared to put money on at least three : Home Premium, Business and Ultimate.

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