Ahead of an expected preview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, the fresh-baked beta edition of Windows 7 has already broken cover and hit the Web.
The next-gen Windows has reached its first beta build, and it’s already flowing fast and free through Torrent servers worldwide.
Branded with the all-too-cute version number of Build 7000, the 2.4GB ISO seems to contain only minor changes from the widely-distributed ‘Milestone’ Build 6801
which Microsoft handed out three months ago at its PDC and WinHEC conferences, and which subsequently found its way
onto Torrent servers a week after the PDC event.
Windows 7 Beta 1, fresh from the oven at Redmond – and it’s still hot...
The most significant appears to be the ‘Superbar’ – a souped-up taskbar which Microsoft claims has been re-engineered to be less potentially confusing to novices and more efficient for just about everyone.
The Superbar was nominally missing from the Build 6801 release, although it was later revealed to be merely hidden and could, along with a handful of other features, be unlocked using what became known as the Blue Badge hack
The timely arrival of Beta 1 indicates that the highly anticipated successor to Windows Vista looks well on track for a final release by this time next year. Microsoft needed to steer Windows 7 from the ‘Milestone’ pre-beta towards a Beta 1 edition by the beginning of 2008 so that it had the best chance to hit Beta 2 before mid-year.
This would in turn keep things on track to lock down the code by the end of Q3 so that system builders could customise and pre-load the OS onto an expected flood of desktops, notebooks and even netbooks
in time for Christmas 2009.
Of course, it should go without saying that APC does not condone piracy or the use of the BitTorrent network to illegally install software.