260w ago - Microsoft has been developing Windows 7 under a shroud of secrecy worthy of Apple, and it's led to a rash of rumors and unfounded expectations.
So let us state for the record: Windows 7 doesn't have a new kernel, it doesn't run in the cloud and it's not based on Midori (a research project focused on writing an OS in managed code).
In fact, Windows 7 uses the same driver model as Vista - and even refers to itself as version 6.1. We've got our hands on the Milestone Three (M3) pre-beta release of Windows 7, so read on to find out exactly what to expect from Microsoft's newest OS.
Windows 7's philosophy
You can get a good idea about future versions of Windows by looking at the progress of Office under Steven Sinofsky, now Senior Vice President of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group. The changes that he's made to the Windows team aren't just about what new features go into Windows; they're about the whole way that Windows is developed.
These changes are definitely a response to what happened with Vista, which he sees as a learning experience: "As engineers, you have to have some things that don't go as well as you would have liked and you have to go and learn what to prevent. We just really weren't ready when the product [was released]. We did a lot...