- With Vista struggling Windows 7 it's the OS on everyone's lips at the moment. It could be set for an early release in Q4 2009. Chris Flores
, from the official Windows Vista Team Blog brings us up-to-date.
Flores has conceded that Microsoft is working on Windows 7, but has stated that this is normal in the Windows OS cycle. "...we started working on Windows Vista even before we released Windows XP. So naturally, we've been thinking about the investments we made in Windows Vista and how we can build on these for the next version of Windows," he said.
This time around Microsoft has taken a new approach with Windows 7 by strategically sharing information with key partners. While this has already begun, neither Flores or Steven Sinofsky, Windows and Windows Live Engineering SVP, in a chat to CNET, would be drawn on a firm release date for Windows 7.
Sinofsky stated that they didn't want another five year wait as was the case with Windows XP and Vista, and it was more likely to be three years between the day Windows Vista went on sale to the day Windows 7 does. If you do that math, that would still mean start of 2010, but not far off late 2009. The possibility of an early release is still alive.
Flores has also confirmed that Windows 7 will be a major release. It won't be a start from scratch project though, instead it will build on the foundations laid by Windows Vista, Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft will not, however, be creating a new kernel, despite popular rumour.
The goal for Windows 7, says Flores, is to be able to run it on the recommended specs of Windows Vista. "One of our design goals for Windows 7 is that it will run on the recommended hardware we specified for Windows Vista and that the applications and devices that work with Windows Vista will be compatible with Windows 7."
For Windows Vista Home Basic that's a 1GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 512MB of system memory and 20GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space. For Home Premium 1GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1GB of system memory and 40GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space.
Early releases of Windows 7 will be available to gain feedback but not to the general public. Microsoft would not be drawn on a firm beta release date.