Windows 7 Gets Pre-Beta Release in October

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Microsoft has confirmed that attendees of its upcoming WinHEC and Professional Developer Conference will receive “pre-beta” versions of its forthcoming Windows 7 operating system. The Professional Developer Conference (PDC) is scheduled for October 27–30 in Los Angeles; WinHec follows a week later.

“Attendees will be among the first to receive the pre-beta build of Windows 7,” write Microsoft marketing manager Denise Begley in a PDC blog. “Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to attend 21 different sessions that drill down into the details of developing for Windows 7.

Although Microsoft is officially aiming to get Windows 7 out the door during the first half of 2010, industry sources have Microsoft aiming to get a final code release of the next version of its desktop operating system done by mid-2009, which may open the doors to getting the enter operating system out the door sooner.

Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s followup to Windows Vista, which was launched to consumers in early 2007…and was greeted by much trepidation and gnashing of teeth. Although Microsoft continues to rake in significantly amounts of money from sales of Vista, consumer and industry response to the operating system has been so lackluster that Microsoft has recently launched a $300 million ad campaign to promote Vista’s virtues to the world. The campaign—which initially featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld and is now attempting to bounce off Apple’s long-running Mac vs. PC ads—has generally been greeted with a mixture of ambivalence and confusion…not unlike Vista itself.

Windows 7 isn’t set up to be a radical change from Vista, and will employ the same kernel technology and device drivers. However, as Microsoft shifts more of its focus toward the Internet, an increasing number of Windows 7 core services will rely on Microsoft online offerings, including email, and movie and photo services.

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