Microsoft Demos, Delivers Pre-Beta of Windows 7

Microsoft demonstrated a pre-beta release of Windows 7 and also delivered a bit of the technology to developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference. Windows 7 extends developers' investments in Windows Vista and encourages the creation of new applications and services for the Windows platform.

LOS ANGELES-Microsoft showed its first full public demonstration of Windows 7 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference here on Oct. 28.

Microsoft officials said Windows 7 extends developers' investments in Windows Vista and encourages the creation of new applications and services for the Windows platform. The company also delivered a pre-beta build of Windows 7 to PDC attendees and announced plans to release a full Windows 7 beta early next year.

Check out eWEEK Labs' first look at Windows 7 here.

Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, said Windows 7 is designed to make everyday tasks faster and easier, and make new things possible for end users.

Windows 7 reflects an evolved approach to engineering that incorporates customer and partner feedback more closely into the development process, Microsoft officials said. It will deliver innovative new features while focusing on application and device compatibility, the company said. And with Windows 7, Microsoft is working to establish a more consistent and predictable release schedule so partners across the Windows ecosystem can easily and quickly build on the new Windows capabilities, Sinofsky said.

Sinofsky said Windows 7 is not feature-complete yet, but it will be when it gets to beta. He also said he hopes developers and testers will provide feedback to help the company make the product more solid.

For an early peek at Windows 7's features, click here.

A Windows 7 beta will be available "early next year," Sinofsky said, adding that Windows 7 should be available "three years from the availability of Windows Vista." And Vista shipped in January of 2007, which should put Windows 7 shipment around January of 2010, according to Sinofsky's estimate.

Windows 7 will feature enhancements in performance, reliability, compatibility and security over Windows Vista, according to Sinofsky.

"We certainly got a lot of feedback on Windows Vista after RTM [release to manufacturing] from customers, from the press, from bloggers and even from some commercials." he said to laughter from the audience.

Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the same hardware, applications and device drivers as Windows Vista, the company said. New features will help protect privacy and data, make it easier to keep a PC running smoothly, and enable quicker recovery from problems, according to Microsoft.

Moreover, Windows 7 will streamline and simplify the tasks people do most often, Sinofsky said. Improved navigation, a new task bar and a streamlined user interface put commonly used resources within easy reach. And sharing data across all PCs and devices will be easier at home, in the office or on the go. Windows 7 and Windows Live will help users stay connected to the people and things they care about, and Internet Explorer 8 will offer a faster, safer and more productive Web experience.