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Windows 7
Developer(s) Microsoft
Family Microsoft Windows
Latest version 6.1.6933
Latest release date 22, October 2009
License(s) MS EULA
User Interface GUI


Windows 7 (formerly codenamed Blackcomb and Vienna) is an older operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, Tablet PCs, and media center PCs.[1] Even after Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 were released Windows 7 is still the most popular for bussiness and home users. Microsoft has offered a free upgrade to windows 10 for non enterprise users of windows 7.

Microsoft stated in 2007 that it is planning Windows 7 development for a three-year time frame starting after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista, but the final release date will be determined by product quality.[2]

Unlike its predecessor, Windows 7 is an incremental upgrade with the goal of being fully compatible with existing device drivers, applications and hardware.[3] Presentations given by the company in 2008 have focused on multi-touch support, a redesigned Windows Shell with a new taskbar, a home networking system called HomeGroup,[4] and performance improvements. Some applications that have been included with prior releases of Microsoft Windows, most notably Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker and Windows Photo Gallery, are no longer included with the operating system; they are instead offered separately as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite.[5]

DevelopmentEdit

HistoryEdit

In 2000, Microsoft started the planning to follow up Windows XP and its server counterpart Windows Server 2003 (both codenamed Whistler) with a major new release of Windows that was codenamed Blackcomb (both codenames refer to the Whistler-Blackcomb resort). This new version was at that time scheduled for a 2005 release.[6][7]

Major features were planned for Blackcomb, including an emphasis on searching and querying data and an advanced storage system named WinFS to enable such scenarios. In this context, a feature mentioned by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for Blackcomb was "a pervasive typing line that will recognize the sentence that [the user is] typing in."[8]

Later, Blackcomb was delayed and an interim, minor release, codenamed "Longhorn", was announced for a 2003 release.[9] By the middle of 2003, however, Longhorn had acquired some of the features originally intended for Blackcomb, including WinFS, the Desktop Window Manager, and new versions of system components built on the .NET Framework. After the 2003 "Summer of Worms", where three major viruses − Blaster, Sobig, and Welchia − exploited flaws in Windows operating systems within a short time period, Microsoft changed its development priorities, putting some of Longhorn's major development work on hold in order to develop new service packs for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Development of Longhorn was also "reset" in September 2004.

NamingEdit

As major feature work on Windows Vista wound down in early 2006, Blackcomb was renamed Vienna.[10] However, following the release of Windows Vista, it was confirmed by Microsoft on 20 July 2007 that "the internal name for the next version of the Windows Client OS"[2] was Windows 7, a name that had been reported by some sources months before.[10] On 13 October 2008, it was announced that Windows 7 would also be the official name of the operating system.[11][12]

Mike Nesh, Microsoft's vice-president of Windows product management said:

The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore Windows 7 just makes sense.

Coming up with an all-new 'aspirational' name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.[12][13]

FocusEdit

Microsoft's Ben Fathi stated on 9 February 2007 that the focus of the operating system was still being worked out, and he could only hint at some possibilities:[14]

We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe it's hypervisors. I don't know what it is [...] Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers.

Bill Gates, in an interview with Newsweek, suggested that the next version of Windows would "be more user-centric."[15] When asked to clarify what he meant, Gates said:

That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you've got to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information between them is very painful. We can use Live Services to know what you're interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else's PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and those things. So that's kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can enable. [Also,] in Vista, things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech, but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students won't need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We'll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we've got a pretty good outline.

Gates later said that Windows 7 will also focus on performance improvements:[16]

We're hard at work, I would say, on the next version, which we call Windows 7. I'm very excited about the work being done there. The ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone, so those scenarios connect up well to make it a great platform for the best gaming that can be done, to connect up to the thing being done out on the Internet, so that, for example, if you have two personal computers, that your files automatically are synchronized between them, and so you don't have a lot of work to move that data back and forth.

Senior Vice President Bill Veghte stated that Windows 7 will not have the kind of compatibility issues with Vista that Vista has with previous versions:[17]

You've let us know you don't want to face the kinds of incompatibility challenges with the next version of Windows you might have experienced early with Windows Vista. As a result, our approach with Windows 7 is to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista so the investments you and our partners have made in Windows Vista will continue to pay off with Windows 7. Our goal is to ensure the migration process from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is straightforward.

Speaking about Windows 7 on 16 October 2008, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed compatibility between Vista and Windows 7:[18]

Our next release of Windows will be compatible with Vista. The key is let’s get on with it. We’ll be ready when you want to deploy Windows 7.[18]

Ballmer also confirmed the relationship between Vista and Windows 7, indicating that Windows 7 will be an improved version of Vista.[18]

Builds Edit

File:Win7wordpad.png
File:Build6801superbar.png
Milestone 1

The first known build of Windows 7 was identified as a "Milestone 1 (M1) code drop" according to TG Daily with a version number of 6.1.6519.1. It was sent to key Microsoft partners by January 2008 in both x86 and x86-64 versions.[19][20] Though not yet commented on by Microsoft, reviews and screenshots have been published by various sources.[21][22] The M1 code drop installation comes as either a standalone install or one which requires Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, and creates a dual-boot system.[23]

On 20 April 2008, screenshots and videos of a second build of M1 were leaked with a version number of 6.1.6574.1. This build included changes to Windows Explorer as well as a new Windows Health Center.[24]

Milestone 2

According to the TG Daily article of 16 January 2008, the Milestone 2 (M2) code drop was at that time scheduled for April or May 2008.[19] A Milestone 2 build was demonstrated at the D6 conference[25] with a build number of 6.1.6589.1.x86fre.winmain_win7m2.080420-1634. The build had a different taskbar than found in Windows Vista, with, among other features, sections divided into different colors. The host declined to comment on it, stating "I'm not supposed to talk about it now today".[26]

Milestone 3

According to Paul Thurrott, Milestone 3 (build 6780) was shipped to Microsoft employees and close partners in the week of 7 September 2008. Described as visually and functionally similar to Windows Vista by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet[27] and Stephen Chapman of UX Evangelist,[28] some bundled applications in Milestone 3 now use a ribbon interface similar to that of Office 2007.[29]

Many applications that had been integrated into previous versions of Windows have been removed, including Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Meeting Space, Movie Maker, and Photo Gallery and are available as downloads in the Windows Live Wave 3 beta release.[30] WinFuture.de has since leaked 192 images of Windows 7 build 6780.[31]

Build 6801

On 8 October 2008, screenshots of Windows 7 build 6801 were leaked.[32] On 28 October 2008, Microsoft distributed build 6801 to attendees at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC).[33] It has since been leaked to bittorrent networks.[34] It features an enhanced taskbar similar to the one in build 6933 although it is disabled by default. An unofficial patch has been released to enable the new taskbar in build 6801.[35][36]

Build 6933

Microsoft also demonstrated build 6933.winmain.081020-1842 during the PDC, but did not give it to attendees.[37]

Beta 1

Beta 1 (Build 7000) was to be released to the public on January 9, 2009 but its downloads were delayed due to traffic. The downoad expired on February 12, 2009.The product keys to activate the betas were available from Microsoft until August 1, 2009.Template:Fact

Release Candidate

The release candidate (Build 7100) was available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and Connect Program participants on April 30, 2009. It was available to the public on May 5, 2009 and expired on June 1, 2010.

Final Build

Windows 7 was released on October 22, 2009.[38]

Features Edit

File:Windows 7 graphical command shell.jpg

Windows 7 includes a number of new features, such as advancements in touch, speech, and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot performance, and kernel improvements.

According to reports sent to TG Daily,[19] the Milestone 1 build of Windows 7 adds support for systems using multiple heterogeneous graphics cards from different vendors and a new version of Windows Media Center.[19] New features in Milestone 1 also reportedly include Gadgets being integrated into Windows Explorer, a Gadget for Windows Media Center, the ability to visually pin and unpin items from the Start Menu and Recycle Bin, improved media features, the XPS Essentials Pack being integrated, Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE), and a multiline Calculator featuring Programmer and Statistics modes along with unit conversion.

Reports indicate that a feedback tool included in Milestone 1 lists some coming features: the ability to store Internet Explorer settings on a Windows Live account, updated versions of Paint and WordPad, and a 10-minute install process.[39] In addition, improved network connection tools might be included.

Many new items have been added to the Control Panel including: Accelerators, ClearType Text Tuner, Display Color Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Infrared, Recovery, Troubleshooting, Workspaces Center, Location and Other Sensors, Credential Manager, Biometric Devices, System Icons, Windows Solution Center, and Display.[40] Windows Security Center has been renamed the Windows Solution Center (Windows Health Center in earlier builds) which encompass both security and maintenance of the computer.

The taskbar has seen the biggest visual changes, where the Quick Launch has been merged with the buttons to create an enhanced taskbar or what Microsoft internally refers to as the "Superbar". This enhanced taskbar also enables the Jump Lists feature to allow easy access to common tasks.[41]

According to released PDC 2008, which was held 27-30 October 2008, session information, Windows 7 discussions will cover "enhancements to the taskbar, Start Menu, thumbnails and their desktop elements",[42] a new networking API with support for building SOAP based web services in native code (as opposed to.NET based WCF web services),[43] new features to shorten application install times, reduced UAC prompts, simplified development of installation packages,[44] and improved globalization support through a new Extended Linguistic Services API.[45]

Windows 7 will also contain a new FireWire (IEEE 1394) stack that fully supports IEEE 1394b with S800, S1600 and S3200 data rates.[46]

Antitrust regulatory attentionEdit

As with other Microsoft operating systems, Windows 7 is being studied by federal regulators who oversee the company's operations following the 2001 United States Microsoft antitrust case settlement. According to status reports filed, the three-member panel began assessing prototypes of the new operating system in February 2008.[47] Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research said that, "[Microsoft's] challenge for Windows 7 will be how can they continue to add features that consumers will want that also don't run afoul of regulators."[47]

References Edit

  1. Cnet: Next version of Windows: Call it 7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite news
  3. Nash, Mike (28 October 2008). Windows 7 Unveiled Today at PDC 2008. Windows Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2008-11-11.
  4. LeBlanc, Brandon (28 October 2008). How Libraries & HomeGroup Work Together in Windows 7. Windows Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2008-11-11.
  5. LeBlance, Brandon (28 October 2008). The Complete Windows Experience – Windows 7 + Windows Live. Windows Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2008-11-11.
  6. Microsoft pushes back Blackcomb to 2005
  7. .Net Server: Three delays a charm?
  8. Bill Gates (2000-07-12). Professional Developers Conference Remarks. microsoft.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-05.
  9. Lettice, John (2001-10-24). Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003. The Register. Retrieved on 2008-03-05.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Paul Thurrott (14 February 2007). Windows "7" FAQ. Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. 12.0 12.1 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (October 2008). For Microsoft's Windows, 7th time's a charm. Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
  13. Collins, Barry (14 October 2008). Windows 7 to be called... Windows 7. PC Pro. Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
  14. Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (9 February 2007). Microsoft: Vista follow-up likely in 2009.
  15. Steven Levy (3 February 2007). Bill Gates on Vista and Apple's 'Lying' Ads.
  16. Bill Gates (12 May 2007). Bill Gates: Japan—Windows Digital Lifestyle Consortium.
  17. Marius Oiaga (24 June 2008). Windows 7 Will Not Inherit the Incompatibility Issues of Vista.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Dignan, Larry (October 2008). Ballmer: It’s ok to wait until Windows 7; Yahoo still ‘makes sense’; Google Apps ‘primitive’. Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Gruener, Wolfgang (2008-01-16). TG Daily - Windows Vista successor scheduled for a H2 2009 release?. TG Daily. Retrieved on 2008-01-17.
  20. Dan Graham (2008-01-18). Windows 7 set for late 2009 release. Retrieved on 2008-01-18.
  21. More Windows 7 screenshots surfacing. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
  22. ThinkNext.net: Screenshots from a blogger with Windows 7 M1
  23. TG Daily: Windows 7 M1: Nothing to get excited about
  24. Leaked Details of Windows 7 M1 March 2008 Edition Version 6.1 Build 6574.1. Retrieved on 2008-04-24.
  25. Gates and Ballmer debut Windows 7. engadget (2008-05-27). Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
  26. Evolution of the taskbar in Windows 7 - “Superbar”. Retrieved on 2008-06-27.
  27. Windows 7 hits Milestone 3. ZDNet.com.
  28. Windows 7 Paint and WordPad: New UI, New Functionality.
  29. Ahead of PDC, Microsoft Begins Internal Test of Windows 7. Paul Thurrott (2008-09-14). Retrieved on 2008-09-15.
  30. Windows 7 M3 Build 6780 Pictures and Video. Thinknext.net.
  31. Windows 7 Meilenstein 3 Build 6.1.6780 Screenshots and Photos. WinFuture.de.
  32. Windows 7 Meilenstein 3 Build 6.1.6801 Screenshots and Photos. WinFuture.de.
  33. Windows 7 Media Center Features in PDC Build 6801 of Windows 7. D' Technology Weblog (2008-10-29). Retrieved on 2008-11-07.
  34. Windows 7 Pre-Beta Hits Bittorrent (2008-11-04). Retrieved on 2008-11-04.
  35. Flashy Windows 7 bits protected by elaborate scheme, workaround. withinwindows (2008-10-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-28.
  36. Unlocking special features and taskbar, removing 30 day trial and watermark on Windows 7 (build 6801). DoesWhat (Tutorial What) (2008-11-06). Retrieved on 2008-11-06.
  37. Introducing the Windows 7 UI. Tom Warren (2008-10-28). Retrieved on 2008-10-28.
  38. Fried, Ina (November 2008). Microsoft aims Windows 7 for 2009 holiday season. Retrieved on 2008-11-13.
  39. Long Zheng (2008-01-22). Neowin.net forum member posts first review Windows 7 Milestone 1 Build 6.1.6519.1. Retrieved on 2008-01-26.
  40. Windows 7 M3 Build 6780 Pictures and Video. Thinknext.net.
  41. Softpedia (November 2008). Windows 7 User Interface – The Superbar (Enhanced Taskbar). Retrieved on 2008-11-12.
  42. Windows 7: Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar. PDC 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-26.
  43. Windows 7: Web Services in Native Code. PDC 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-26.
  44. Windows 7: Deploying Your Application with Windows Installer (MSI) and ClickOnce. PDC 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-26.
  45. Windows 7: Writing World-Ready Applications. PDC 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-26.
  46. Microsoft's 1394 Stategy and Roadmap. Zach Little. Retrieved on 2008-11-01.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Keizer, Gregg F. (March 2008). Windows 7 eyed by antitrust regulators. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.

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