Windows 7 beta “coming early 2009”

Windows 7 will enter its first beta early next year, Microsoft has announced at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

Windows 7 beta

The company has provided developers and journalists with a pre-beta build of the software at the conference this week, but it says the full public beta is only a few months away.

“The beta’s going to be feature complete and we’re going to deliver the beta early next year,” said Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for Windows, during his keynote speech at the conference today.

The beta will be delivered via Microsoft’s MSDN service, as well as via for the general public.

However, Sinofsky said the company isn’t any closer to announcing a final release date. He said that the outcome of the beta would determine when the operating system is ready for release to manufacturing (RTM), and that the company wouldn’t be pressured into announcing a formal release date.

He said the company is sticking to its general goal of delivering Windows 7 three years after the release of Vista, which is nominally January 2010.

“We really do mean we’ll ship it when it’s ready,” Sinofsky told journalists earlier this week. “We don’t need to be playing schedule goals all the time.”

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