Ballmer Confirms Win7 Beta in the Wild

During last night's opening CES keynote, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked much about Windows 7 and how it would be the world's best operating system. Naturally, this is what he would say.

Ballmer confirmed that Windows 7 beta 1 is already in the wild, and we can also confirm that the leaked beta 1 that came out a few days ago, matches the build Microsoft is officially making available and testers--that is, build 7000.

Users who do get their hands on build 7000 will notice that the majority of the operating system's UI is fairly robust and refined. For those following Windows 7 pre-beta builds, most changes will not be interface changes, but instead be underlying core operating system changes. Microsoft indicated that its focus was on improving OS stability and speed, and judging from this major milestone build, we can tell that Microsoft is overall pleased with the UI as it stands now. Some minor features, like Windows 7's Aero Shake feature, is still unfinished.

Windows 7 will also come equipped to handle playback of DivX videos, and Silverlight--Microsoft's proprietary version of Flash--is also included.

We were able to spend several days with Windows 7 beta 1, and found that it certainly lived up to expectations. The system felt very stable and responsive, something that Vista could never deliver to us in terms of experience. Overall, we would say that even as a beta, Windows 7 beta 1 feels like a completed, ready to release, operating system--yes, it's that good.

More on Windows 7 beta 1 as we continue to play with it.

More from CES 2009

  • HJB
    "The system felt very stable and responsible..." - thank goodness for that! I for one, *hate* irresponsible operating systems.
  • ravenware
    Sorry but the beta testing of windows 7 ultimate on top of a mac os makes me laugh. :)
  • eklipz330
    what's funny is that they rarely mentioned vista. another reason to wait for win 7
  • smalltime0
    "Some minor features, like Windows 7's Aero Shake feature, is still unfinished."
    Should be
    "Some minor features, like Windows 7's Aero Shake feature, ARE still unfinished."
  • bydesign
    Agreed the Vista SP2 umm I mean Windows 7 does feel ready. The only issue I found was that IE 8 included with the build is still unpredictable. I have run ino a number of issues running java. Otherwise it doesn't feel like a beta at all.

    The differences with Vista are subtle. Which bring me to my point, is this worthy of being called a new OS? I don't think so, it's Vista optimized with an UI updates. More or less the same gig as 2000 to XP using many of the same tricks.
  • I would want to see it's performance and response be compared to XP.
    Imight skip windows 7 in all; since I still have an OEM XP CD laying around; and no need for a new OS, if it is not as responsive as XP.
  • davidgbailey
    So is it safe to say that after seven years of waiting, Vista was the beta for Windows 7? Windows users have been beta testing. I just don't understand the mentality of someone that can have any hope remaining after 8+ years of waiting for a decent operating system. Mac's transition to a completely different architecture (x86) went much more smoothly. I used Mac OS X through the transition. I haven't had to wait for a new operating system. I used to live in denial when I was in the other camp. I know what it feels like. The audacity of hope - Obama.
  • timaahhh
    As I recall Leopard had its fair share of problems. Tom's even going as far to say that it wasn't ready for release.,review-1028.html