It's now over one year since Microsoft introduced the first Windows 7 Build. Back at the start of 2008, the next iteration of the Windows client was still in Alpha stage, with the software giant planning a total of three major development milestone releases ahead of moving the operating system into Beta. Fast forward to 2009, and the Redmond company is now cooking Windows 7 Builds from the Release Candidate branch
. Microsoft's three-years-after-the-Vista-GA availability deadline for Windows 7 aside, the next version of Windows, namely Windows 6.1, is closer and closer to RTM.
Over the past year, testers that had access to Windows 7 milestone builds from the earliest stages of the development process witnessed a constant improvement of the operating system. At the same time, Windows 7 moved slowly but surely away from Windows Vista, and grew into its own. With the platform both API- and feature-complete, and a development strategy similar to that of the Office System, testers have seen very few Build releases, a trend which will continue moving onward, and are bound to see only minor changes to the operating system's architecture.
Microsoft is currently harvesting feedback from various sources, including the Windows 7 feedback mechanism, and is focusing on incorporating tester input into RC-branch builds. And yes, all the Windows 7 development milestones past Beta Build 7000
are Release Candidate Builds of Windows 7, since RC is the next building stage of the operating system. There is little talk of Windows 7 RC, and, in fact, little details available on just how tester feedback is being used to build the next milestone of the operating system.
However, testers should not interpret the radio silence from Microsoft as inactivity. In fact, the last thing that Microsoft is doing is to ignore the feedback from users running Windows 7 Beta. The silence, sometimes indeed deafening, is just an aspect of the translucency communication strategy introduced by Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group. But just looking at the Beta of Windows 7, you have to admit that the Windows team with Sinofsky at the helm did nothing short of a superb job, and I must underline superb job, in comparison to Windows Vista Beta 1.
Read more here.