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Pre-beta Windows 7 OS will be given to developers at coming conferences

Microsoft Windows Vista is still considered relatively new on the market and some users have not yet upgraded from Windows XP to Vista for a variety of reasons. Microsoft is continuing to allow certain types of computers to run Windows XP thanks to its lower cost and overhead.

Despite being released less than two years ago to the general public, Microsoft is hard at work on the replacement for Vista. DailyTech reported that the next Microsoft PC operating system -- codenamed Windows 7 -- had its first setback in September.  Microsoft had planned to offer the first Windows 7 Beta in October of 2008, that date slipped to December 2008.

Microsoft's Mike Nash wrote in a blog post that Microsoft would be providing a pre-beta version of Windows 7 exclusively to developers to attendees at the PDC and WinHEC developers conferences.

Nash also wrote in the blog post that Microsoft has decided on the final name for the next Windows operating system, and it's one we are familiar with. Microsoft has decided to call the operating system Windows 7. This is the first time a Windows operating system has kept its codename as the official name.

Nash wrote, "The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows.  We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or ‘aspirational’ monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista.  And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, 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."

Details on Windows 7 are still scant, but Nash says that Microsoft will be sharing more in the coming weeks. To this point, feature wise it is known that the OS will support multi-touch and use the same driver system as Windows Vista.

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Confused by this "simple" naming convention
By drkicker on 10/14/2008 12:20:31 PM , Rating: -1
Windows 3.11 = Windows 3
Windows 95 = Windows 4
Windows 98 = Windows 5
Windows 2000/ME = Windows 6
Windows XP = Windows 7
Windows Vista = Windows 8

Based on that, I guess they're reboxing XP and shipping it back out as a new product?

RE: Confused by this "simple" naming convention
By EntreHoras on 10/14/2008 12:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 3.11 = 3.11
Windows 95, 98, ME, NT = 4
Windows 2000, XP = 5
Windows VIsta = VI = 6
Windows 7 = 7

RE: Confused by this "simple" naming convention
By MozeeToby on 10/14/2008 12:57:42 PM , Rating: 3
I think you mean...

Windows 3.11 = 3
Windows 95, 98, ME = 4
Windows NT , 2000, XP = 5
Windows Vista = 6
Windows 7 = 7

Although NT was released before even 95, it serves as the basic architecture for 2000, and XP. Also, by that logic, Vista and Windows 7 should be given the same number since 7 is basically Vista with some improved UI and less annoying UAC.

By EntreHoras on 10/14/2008 3:50:12 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, but as a person who worked several years supporting NT, I'm completely sure that NT is Windows Version 4.

By Flunk on 10/14/2008 4:49:35 PM , Rating: 3
Actually it's more complicated than that, Windows and Windows NT are completely different OSes. I'm going to skip versions before 3.0 to make this simpler.

Windows 3.0 = 3.0
Windows 3.11 = 3.11
Windows 95 = 4.0
Windows 98 = 4.1
Windows Me = 4.9
There are no more Windows releases past this point

Windows NT 3.1 = NT 3.1 (This is actually the first NT release)
Windows NT 3.5 = NT 3.5
Windows NT 4.0 = NT 4.0
Windows 2000 = NT 5.0
Windows XP = NT 5.1
Windows Server 2003 = NT 5.2
Windows Vista = NT 6.0

I'm missing a few incidental versions such as Win98SE but it gives you an idea. I should note that the origional Windows and NT are completely different OSes. NT was just designed to be compatible with Windows programs.

Realistically Windows 7 should be Windows 6.1 because it's based on the same kernel as Vista.

By amanojaku on 10/14/2008 7:38:29 PM , Rating: 3
Wait, wait, wait. I'm pretty sure ME was version -8

By theapparition on 10/14/2008 1:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
Just worth noting that NT also came in a version 3 flavor.

By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Start -> Run -> winver

Version 5.1 (Build 2600.xpsp... SP3)

RE: Confused by this "simple" naming convention
By Digobick on 10/14/2008 12:52:20 PM , Rating: 4
Keep in mind that XP and Vista are based off the Windows NT kernel. Based on that, here's how they came up with the name:

Windows NT 3.1 = 1st release
Windows NT 3.5 = 2nd release
Windows NT 4.0 = 3rd release
Windows 2000 = 4th release
Windows XP = 5th release
Windows Vista = 6th release
Windows 7 = 7th release

By MarcLeFou on 10/14/2008 3:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
Didn't they rewrite the whole kernel from the ground up for Vista ?

If so, then its not based on the NT codebase anymore.

According to wikipedia this is the numbering of windows releases :

Windows 3.11 = 3.11
Windows NT 3.1 = NT 3.1
Windows NT 3.5 = NT 3.5
Windows NT 4 = NT 4
Windows 95 = 4
Windows 98 = 4.1
Windows ME = 4.9
Windows 2000 = NT 5
Windows XP = NT 5.1
Windows Vista = NT 6

If you know a bit about the timeframe of windows version, you'll notice that both the "regular" kernel and NT kernel were at the same numbering system at about the same time through their respective lifespans (ex : win95-Me and NT4 were both used in the same timeframe with ME slightly extending over 2000 territory). Taking that into account, I'd say windows 7 is fitting no matter were you stand.

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