Technology as a way of life

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser...

Last week, it was confirmed that the screenshots of the first Windows 7 703x build (7032 to be exact) that had leaked were indeed legitimate. The build string was "6.1.7032.0.winmain.090129-1812," which meant that the build had been compiled on January 29, 2009 at 6:12PM, and that it was still in the beta branch of builds. Geeksmack yesterday reported that it was hearing whisperings of a build 7048.

The build string is indeed "7048.winmain_win7rc1.090211-1625," and it tells us much more than just than the fact that it was compiled on February 11, at 4:25PM (a week ago). What makes this build significant is not only that it's the first build (that we know of) compiled in February, or that it's the first 704x build we can confirm, but the inclusion of "rc1" in the string. This suggests that Microsoft has finished with beta builds and is now working on the RC1 branch builds. claims that an RC1 build (might be 7048, but not necessarily) will be released privately sometime around February 27, 2009. MSDN and TechNet subscribers, participants of the Technology Adopters Program (TAP), and beta testers signed up on Microsoft Connect will all be getting this RC1 build, though it's not clear whether they will all receive the build on the same day. The public Release Candidate is expected to arrive sometime in April.

It is possible that Microsoft has sped up development and is prepping an RC earlier than originally expected, but what is more likely is that an RC1 will be released privately (and leaked, of course) and a later RC build will be released to the public. Microsoft did the same with IE8: an RC1 build was sent to testers (8.0.6001.18343), and the public got a newer build a few weeks later (8.0.6001.18372). Both builds claimed RC1 in the about box.

More and more evidence is pointing towards a 2009 release of Windows 7, but Microsoft has yet to confirm any specific dates regarding the operating system's release schedule.


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