Print 33 comment(s) - last by hobbes7869.. on May 31 at 6:04 PM

The successor to Windows 7 may soon greet the masses

One of the major keys to Windows 7's great success and massive rebound from the disappointment of Vista was the incredibly popular public beta test program that launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009.  Two years later Microsoft is well on the way to releasing the successor to the popular Windows 7, Windows 8, and it's reportedly preparing for a new beta program.

Softpedia reported last week that it received "Windows 8 Build 6.2.7959.0 Milestone 3 (M3)", an important preliminary build.  Compiled March 7, 2011 (based on the name string of the full build of the release), if authentic the build indicates that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is closing in on Build 8000 -- typically the build at which it launches a beta.

According to CentrumXP, developers now have access to "Build 6.2.7996.0.winmain_win8m3.110429-181" in the winmain_win8m3 branch.  The number in its build string (110429) indicates a release date of April 29, 2011.

That means that by now the Build 8000 may be compiled and almost ready to go.  It still remains to be seen, though, if the rumors are true and this is a beta build.  

One thing that calls that theory into question is the rumor that Microsoft will be working on Milestone 3 from February to July.  A finished build in May is way ahead of that schedule and doesn't quite add up.

According to rumors and leaks, Microsoft will wrap up Milestone 3, move on to a single beta, and finally air a release candidate before a commercial launch in late 2012/early 2013.  

Microsoft appears to be transitioning to a slightly faster release cycle, similar to what Apple does with OS X.  Whether that shorter release cycle will be accompanied by lower upgrade pricing remains to be seen.

The company is expected to possibly release the beta code to the broader developer community (only select developers have the current Milestone builds), and possibly announce a public beta at the Professional Developers Conference 2011 (PDC 2011) September 13–16, 2011, in Anaheim, California.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bills Windows 8 as his company's "riskiest product".  A preview that leaked about a month back showed a GUI similar to Windows 7, but with Microsoft Office's Ribbon inserted in new locations like the Windows Explorer.  Builds have also been seen running on ARM CPUs, which look to begin displacing Intel Corp. (INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s (AMD) x86 designs in mobile computers and servers over the next several years.

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Basic stuff
By B3an on 5/11/2011 9:57:17 AM , Rating: 0
Microsoft appears to be transitioning to a slightly faster release cycle, similar to what Apple does with OS X.

They're not at all. MS are the same as they've always been. The only exception was the stupidly long time XP was around for. Pretty much all other Windows versions had the same sort or release time or shorter.. Win 3.1 > 95 > 98 > 98SE > 2000 > ME > XP.

I've tried a recent build of Win8 and so far i'm not too impressed, although it's surprisingly stable. Most of the changes are under the hood but to most people it will mostly look and feel the same as Win7. They still have a long way to go so i'm not going to judge yet of course, a lot can and will change.

The ribbon menu is appaling though... this is coming from someone who loves the ribbon in Office. But on Win8 it just looks ridiculous, way too much options/complexity for most users when they simply want to browse back and forth through folders, and it's just ugly looking. They need to simplify things more like with Win7/Win phone 7, not add massive chunky menus with tons of buttons/text/icons that takes up too much space when most users will never even use them. If it's on be default then the Ribbon will almost be as bad as Vista's annoying UAC prompts.

Another thing i dont like is how MS always only update some OS icons. Win7 has some new icons, but still uses many from Vista, but the Win7 ones dont really go with the vista icons that are looking a little dated, theres even some XP stuff i think. Now Win8 has all these mixed with some new Windows Phone 7 style menu's and icons. It really is becoming a mess. Making new icon graphics is about the easiest thing to do!

RE: Basic stuff
By NellyFromMA on 5/11/2011 4:40:43 PM , Rating: 4
I'm constantly amazed at the "gotta try the earliest build possible and then share poor opinions about it" crowd. Seriously, all of the earliest builds look and feel nearly identical to the version they are replacing and it sometimes isn't well into beta that we see any true difference at all. What's worse is that you would think this particular crowd would know this already, as they are the ones saying this EVERY SINGLE TIME. You're not impressed by it because its far from truly complete. You didn't notice that all the other times?

RE: Basic stuff
By B3an on 5/12/2011 4:58:06 AM , Rating: 1
Can you not even read??

As i CLEARLY said... "They still have a long way to go so i'm not going to judge yet of course, a lot can and will change. "

Idiot. I was sharing what i think of the most recent builds.

RE: Basic stuff
By hobbes7869 on 5/31/2011 6:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
He did read, you didnt come out and judge, but by giving your initial thoughts, you are judging it, implicitly. Even if your comments had been positive, you still would be guilty of judging

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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