Windows 7 Build 7004 is live. In the context of the imminent Windows 7 public Beta release development milestone
, build numbers of the next iteration of the Windows client are being joggled around with Microsoft managing to remain mute and confirm no piece of information. The silence might be deafening on the official communication channels, but the Redmond company is indeed dogfooding Windows 7 Build 7004, a version that has evolved past the 69xx build numbers associated with the pre-beta releases of the operating system
, but also with the 7000 build number that has become associated with the first fully-fledged Beta of Windows Vista's
successor. Scott Wylie
, Microsoft's New Zealand Director of Development and Platform Strategy, is one of the software giant's employees testing Windows 7 Build 7004. Wylie leaked the first screenshot of Windows 7 Build 7004's desktop
in a post that has been removed since then, but which continues to be accessible through Google cache
“I like the new taskbar which combines the old Quick Launch with running apps. I wish I had more control over icon size - still not big enough on my 1400 x 1050 screen to my eye. I love the fact that at long last I can change the order of running tasks on the task bar! I'm one of the small number of people who uses the auto-hide feature of the taskbar (in Vista I used a two story taskbar with Quick Launch along the top and running apps below) to provide more real estate. I'm finding this doesn't look so great with Windows 7 and have reverted to fixed single story. Apart from an issue where my default window color changes from transparent to black if I click on a desktop icon (maybe my video card?) I haven't encountered any problems,” Wylie added.
“This feels like a completed OS, it doesn't say beta, to me it says almost done. The UI is noticeably more responsive, in fact the whole machine feels more snappy, lighter somehow. The new UI features (taskbar, preview windows, jumplists etc.) are really useful and unobtrusive. It will take a little while to get used to the slightly revised task switching, but I think it will be more intuitive long term,” Wylie stated.
Still, Wylie refers to Windows 7 Build 7004 as a pre-Beta version of the platform. The reference comes in contradiction with unconfirmed reports that Microsoft
signed off the code for Windows 7 Beta 1 internally on December 12 with 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400
as the build number. In this context, if 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400 is the Beta, any 7004 Build number would place the respective Windows 7 development milestones in the post-Beta, Release Candidate branch of the operating system.
Inhouse Microsoft has already passed the Build 6.1.6995.0.081202-1120 mark, which is still pre-Beta, and reports indicate that internal Build 6.1.7004.0.081203-1830 is available to the software
giant's employees. The Windows 7 Build 7004 related information Wylie removed points out that Microsoft is not yet ready to talk about details of the Windows client past 69xx builds. However, with 2008 coming to an end, 2009 will bring with it the first public Beta of Windows 7. The wait is almost over. "