Windows 7 Revealed

Today at PDC, Microsoft gave the first public demonstration of Windows 7. They’ve been pretty tight-lipped about the new OS until now (with the one exception being the Engineering 7 blog), in stark contrast to the way Vista was announced. I read some of today’s reaction, and I’ve been reading the news over the last couple of weeks too. Here are a few of the things we know about Windows 7:

  • The final name will be simply Windows 7.
  • The version number will be 6.1, which indicates that the codebase is based on Vista.
  • There won’t be a major interface overhaul – just refinements and improvements to Vista’s attractive UI.
  • User Account Control (UAC) isn’t going away, but it has been refined.
  • The sidebar has been killed – gadgets now live on the desktop.
  • Windows 7 will run on netbooks on the small end, and will support up to 256 CPUs on the large end.
  • Built-in apps like Mail and Calendar are gone, with Windows Live Essentials left to fill the void.
  • The final release will likely come in the latter half of 2009.

For a simple overview of what was demonstrated today, check out The Windows Blog. If you want something a little more in-depth, check out Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite or ActiveWin. If you’re just looking for screenshots, see this post.

As you can see, it looks a lot like Vista! I’m definitely looking forward to playing with the revamped taskbar. Even ignoring the new functionality, the clear look is a welcome improvement.

Looking good so far Microsoft!