Neowin.net forum member posts first review of Windows 7 Milestone 1 Build 6.1.6519.1

Windows SevenLooks like it didn’t take long for the first external build of Windows 7 to be leaked on to the interwebs. Black fumes were reported escaping Steven Sinofsky’s office earlier this morning after news Microsoft has delivered a Milestone 1 build of the next version of Windows to OEMs spread like wildfire in a dry grassy field on a hot summer’s day.

A member named “kenipnet” on Neowin.net’s forums claims to have and installed this very build on his own desktop and laptop machines, and posted this short review on Neowin. For unknown reasons, it was later deleted by the poster, but fortunately the website administrator “Neobond” has republished a cache version of the original post for all but Sinofsky to see. Of course there’s no way to prove this is true, but the facts appear consistent with ‘other reports’ of what the build contains. Take it with a grain of salt and a cup of tea, donuts sold separately.

So here we’re at it, again :P

Over the weekend I finally managed to play with the build…. but disappointed.

One my primary machine, it asked for my SATA driver (never happened when installing Vista, as my drives were set as IDE in BIOS). After adding the driver from my USB thumb drive it would finally install. It didn’t boot after first restart, however.

On my laptop it installed perfectly, but with no driver support for the video card. After numerous tries I gave up in the end, so Aero is now left in the dark.

Oh well, so there’s nothing to show.

The build is 6.1.6519.

The GUI, as much of you have guessed, is very much like Vista. I don’t know if once the right video card driver is in place whether there will be flashy stuffs to surprise me. The system is very responsive, using barely 480MB of memory after boot.

Gadgets are now integrated into explorer. You can right click on desktop and select “Add Gadget” or “Hide Gadget”. There is a new gadget called “Windows Media Center” that displays now playing information from the WMC. On the same menu, “Display” is added above “Personalization” which gives you direct access to display DPI settings. The page is much more polished than the one in Vista.

The start menu features a pin besides each item. Clicking on it toggles pinning/unpinning the item. Search in explorer is now states where you search within (usually being within the folder, as in Vista). You can now, however, adjust the size of the search box.

XAML fonts, called the “Composite Fonts” are now added to the font folder. Perhaps WPF will be much more prominent in this release. It’s disappointing that I don’t have Aero running, or otherwise there might be some interesting stuffs to see.

A new application is added, dubbed the “XPS Viewer”, no surprises, either.

Then finally, something interesting came up: the feedback tool. The feedback tool lists the “pillars” of Win 7. You can see that Microsoft is aiming to fine tune this release as the case in XP rather than technological advancement as in 2K. highlights include”network aware”, with improved connection tools and detections. It will have the ability to detect which network you’re in and switch your settings and devices accordingly; With Live account, you can carry your IE settings and favorites with you; Gadget data caching; New Calculator, Paint, and Wordpad using WPF; install to desktop in 10 mins with only 1 reboot; instant streaming; better battery mileage, etc. All descriptions are scenario-based, so what will actually turn up is still yet to know.

Oh.. how could I miss this. A new boot screen does show up, finally. A full screen Vista-logon screen like boot screen with a beam scrolling across the whole screen near the bottom. Looks nice but reminds me of Win9x (well since XP we’ve been in the “dark”, so surprised to see such a bright boot screen)!

I for one simply cannot wait for the new calculator. As long as no one gets into unrealistic release date guesstimations again, it’s all good fun. Although I don’t agree with what the poster described as a “disappointment”, because there shouldn’t be any expectations. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

103 insightful thoughts

  1. “Gadgets are now integrated into explorer. You can right click on desktop and select “Add Gadget” or “Hide Gadget”. There is a new gadget called “Windows Media Center” that displays now playing information from the WMC. On the same menu, “Display” is added above “Personalization” which gives you direct access to display DPI settings. The page is much more polished than the one in Vista.”

    — Why can’t this be as Windows Ultimate Extras!!!

  2. Well I’d agree that being disappointed in a pre-beta product is somewhat ridiculous. And the feature list sounds good (should have been in Vista, and would have had they not made so many mistakes).

  3. Why the constant references to Steve Sinofsky? I wasn’t going to say anything, but here it is again. It’s almost like you’re trying to insinuate yourself into the personal lives of these people, or building up some kind of micro cult of personality with some individuals. It comes off rather unseemly, IMO.

  4. Cant say if its real or not. And one cant judge or disappoint by a product at such an early stage.But somehow I don’t like such leaks, instead MS release the progress of its products at regular intervals.

  5. @RC: Thanks for the concern. We are dealing with Long’s problem in a phased approach. Tomorrow, Long and I will visit the local barber and have his head shaved. He’ll feel much better.

  6. @RC: Yes, and while they are gone I will be removing all ties from Long’s closet and stocking it with tanish grey blazers.

  7. Wonder if Ultimate users will get a discounted version of 7 when it comes out.
    Also “New Calculator, Paint, and Wordpad using WPF” excited me abit. Maybe for Ultimate users too seeing that Vista already has WPF (though not a single app in Vista supports it; not even solitaire!)

  8. Looks great!

    Sound like 2k -> xp mostly lots more polish now that the core changes are there.

    Maybe should be 6.1 like xp?

  9. fake-fake-fake

    Screenshot it or it didnt happen.

    I might as well write a review saying anything i want about new features,then throw in a build tag and voila: I am a 1337 that has windows 7.

    Prove it or it doesnt exist. Simple as that.

  10. @Fowl: If it’s real, it IS Windows 6.1, it says right there in the build number… And last I checked Windows 6.1 isn’t Windows 7. IF it’s real at all.

  11. “Install to desktop in 10 minutes with 1 reboot”

    Wait, what? Windows installs within 10 minutes? Or did he mean something else?

  12. Have you not thought that Windows Seven is carrying a build tag indicating 6.1 because it’s not complete. Early builds of Windows 95 (4) identified themselves as 3.95.

    Still, would like some screenshots and a pointer to where I can download it from.

  13. Calculator and Wordpad in WPF? Hum…, I doubt that. Paint seems to make sense but the other two? Arn’t these some geeky tools for pro people disabling every little animation on the system? And what benefits could WPF bring to these apps?

    We will see if this one is real. But it’s fun it all starts again. :)

  14. @Tino, I could think of a Graph Calculator, extended editing capabilities in wordpad (at last! god, at least make it nice to use!) and of course a Vector based Paint.

    Ain’t difficult to see that a lot of good stuff can be added to any app that’s into a Graphic UI, when it’s hardware accelerated by default.

    By the time W7 ships, I hope they resolve to just Home, Business and Ultimate, cause if it’s not, we’re screwed… (Home Basic is lame, pointless and useless, and it doesn’t save any money to have an ULTRA stripped down windows)

  15. @Long: That -is- impressive. If this is real, this looks promising. I can’t see how the original reviewer could consider it a dissapointment.

  16. What does he mean with ‘instant streaming’? What streams instantly? Online media? That’s not an OS feature, that’s dependent on the network connection and a whole lot of other factors.

  17. What a load of bullshit this is. A new “WPF” calculator? Big deal. Call me when something major happens.

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  19. @fic: I think you missed the memo about Windows 7 being a *minor* update, therefore the version number is on par.

    @dovella: This review is separate from those awful screenshots/video posted by those morons.

    @hydra: Yeah yeah, it’s the same every go around. Someone leaks some news, they want screenshots. Someone leaks screenshots and they want a video. Someone leaks a video and they want the entire build. Just go eat a shoe or something.

  20. using barely 480MB of memory after boot

    Even if this weren’t fake, seriously, barely 480MB? That’s supposed to be impressive?

  21. I don’t understand why people are bitching about memory usage, it’s just Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 alpha at this point. This is precisely why these leaks are frowned upon… The public is just too stupid and too quick to jump to useless conclusions.

  22. @boolean22: A sizable chunk of Windows users have trouble walking *and* chewing bubble gum. Windows Vista Home Premium is a very popular SKU for that audience, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  23. @Polar Bear:
    in Vista Beta 1 there was a feature that you could’ve only (well me at least) accessed with Tweak Vista, where you could specify how large or small an application was scaled on the desktop (with DWM enabled of course).

    i figure a wpf calculator would include this functionality though i do miss the ability to scale the entire desktop down 78% to use PShop. it was like turning on a higher resolution on a smaller screen and it still looked sharp and very usable.

  24. @Log: OK, that really does make sense especially in touch-scenarios, but this is in Vista (in some kind) and would make sense for every program.

    I’m not against WPF. As a designer I really like it. I am just asking for a single really good and simple text edit app, may it be with or without WPF. That whole Notepad/Wordpad duality should better be over.

    BTW, does WPF still work in classic mode?

  25. I dont believe this story. First, Microsoft does not use WPF into the system because of problems since Longhorn days (that`s why reset happened and that`s why there is no .NET3 based components in Vista). I highly doubt they`ve already solved those problems. Second, as I heard, there is no plans to declain Sidebar conception an use something like Dashboard. Sidebar is a place for improvements, it should still be into Windows 7. There are no in review notes about some other changes of Windows 7 M1, like updated Explorer etc. If user noticed new gadget and new item in desktop menu (this crazy Display, I really dont know why they could add it) – he should notice things like new Media Center etc. So, my imho – it`s fake.

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  27. i doubt all of this massively

    think longhorn M1, practically nothing had changed from XP.
    even when M3 builds leaked there were still few serious changes like what are explained here.

  28. I really don’t like all this info. being leaked out.

    It ruins the surprise, and leads to many other things that was the downfall of Vista.

  29. Hopefully the new calculator will be more like a ‘real’ graphing calculator. Without the extra cost of hardware on today’s graphing calculators.

    And Windows could definitely use a better paint program. They didn’t seem to do much with it in Vista. Besides giving it some new colorful icons.

    But then again, this could be a fake, and I seriously hope that rabid anti-MS fans don’t take this as the real Windows 7 and make false claims about it.

  30. I wonder if they’ll really add any functionality to lame paint, calculator, wordpad. They’ll just do .NET rewrites mostly for replacing “insecure code”. And if they’re indeed .NET, I am surely run them on XP as well. Yay!

  31. @Raiker
    There’s nothing wrong with MS using .NET in apps that are bundled with the OS so it’s not that unlikely since he does mention “New Calculator, Paint, and Wordpad using WPF”. That is what .NET was designed for. However, if MS were to integrate/use .NET in the core of the OS in replacement of other bits, then we’d most likely have a performance problem.

  32. This is interesting. Funny review, but i doubt this is “it”. A lot of what this “review” comes up with looks like SP2 to me. But if it is Windows7, well, there are no surprise that the upgrades are minor. We can debate here as much as we want to, but the fact remains that there is no release of any BETA yet. We will have to wait and see. Wont we? :)

    Sorry my horrible english..

  33. The review is real. Without Aero, however, the reviewer missed some of the good stuff that’s in the builds (mostly some new effects with the taskbar, and thumbnails).

    The thing to remember, however, is that this is the end of M1 (i.e. milestone 1), and there are three milestones. There won’t be any major visual refresh until after M2 (i.e., everything will be implemented with the Vista look-and-feel until after M2). Whatever the new visual look of Win7 will be will be kept under wraps for quite a while. This is no different from Luna for XP and Aero for Vista.

    Windows 7 is also the product of two teams working together: the WEX (or Windows Experience) team, which has primary responsibility for client releases as well as most user-focused features, and COSD (Core Operating System Division), which has responsibility for the kernel, networking, device support, and so on. COSD operates on a longer runway than WEX, meaning that work from that team will show up later in the cycle than work from the WEX team. Note: SteveSi is only in charge of the Windows team. Jon DeVaan runs COSD.

    The other thing that should be considered is the relationship between Windows and Windows Live. Windows Live has taken ownership of most of the “service connected” features in Windows — Mail, Messenger, Photo Gallery, at a minimum. You can expect to see a Windows Live release in the same timeframe as Windows 7 that makes the “Windows + Windows Live” combination a killer one. Important note: Windows Live will be a strict add-on to Windows and it will take advantage of hooks provided by Windows that will be available to anyone. That was the promise when Windows Live was announced, and it will remain that way. So you will be able to install Yahoo stuff and have deep integration with Windows just as easily, as long as Yahoo chooses to take advantage of the new Win7 hooks.

    That said, Windows Live is focused on more near term releases, so they are not doing deep plannng for the Windows 7 release right now. So it’s impossible to say exactly what that combination will look like. SteveSi is also in charge of the Windows Live Experience (WLEX or just LEX) team.

    Finally, it’s important to understand one aspect of the SteveSi philosophy, which might be phrased as “there is always another version” or, more generally, the philosophy of developing release-rhythm. Under Allchin, Windows tended to get into the “big-bang or dot-release” mindset — each release either qualified as a dot-release (i.e. 6.0 to 6.1 — a minor update or refresh, usually ignored by the senior folks) or a “big-bang” release, which would try to change the world in one go. Very few dot-releases every lasted as such. Longhorn was supposed to be a dot-release to XP( that’s why it was named after the half-way point between the two big releases – Whistler and Blackcomb). The vision and scope changed drastically for reasons I was in no position to really understand. Big-bangs tend to collapse under their own weight (see: Longhorn :).

    SteveSi is a much more measured guy and believes in regular releases (though his idea of “regular” might still be long for some people). So teams will have visions that stretch to Win8, and you’ll see a first, thoughtful implementation in Win7, that sets the stage for Win8 (and also gathers important data about how the feature is used, to ensure that the complete implementation is better). Different parts of the product will get focus with each release, ensuring that there’s always *something* that is a killer feature, but there’s no attempt to make sure that *everything* gets an overhaul in every release. Over time, the whole OS will show improvements across the board, but the focus and long-term planning ensures that it’s a smooth upward path, not a series of spikes and (unfortunately) valleys.

    This is the model that has been followed by Office for years — compare any release of Office with it’s successor and you’ll find small improvements everywhere and major improvements in one or two areas. Compare releases of Office over a longer time period and you’ll see huge improvement (say, Office 2000 to Office 2007). Even in Office 2007, while it looks drastically different, very few new features were added to the individual apps — the focus was on adding the ribbon to the core apps (many old features were exposed by the ribbon, which makes it look like much more was added than actually was).

    Oh, and calc/paint/notepad are getting updates (i won’t say what), but they are pretty simple apps and don’t need to be re-written in WPF to get new features. Besides, everyone at MS is deeply aware that these apps are useful precisely because they are simple, focused and start up near-instaneously. No one is going to rewrite them in WPF just because they can and sacrifice the utility of those tools. Wordpad is a different story — it has no real purpose in Windows (it was originally more-or-less a sample app for MFC back in the Win95 days and really hasn’t been touched since, except to do security reviews), so part of updating it is to figure out how it fit it back into it’s natural place as a simple word-processing tool that sits between notepad and Word in functionality.

  34. Well, ummm… Wow.
    Either you’re incredibley good at making up stuff, or you’re telling the truth. It sounds good, so I’m hoping it’s true.
    Let’s just hope Windows 7 doesn’t turn out as bad as your name did.

  35. People who leave just great, incredibly long comments like that should have blogs. :)

    Even if it’s not true. See: Fake Steve Jobs.

  36. i love to read such inside-microsoft comments. i believe though that they are part of their new marketing.

    “let’s tell the interested guys some encouraging and solid facts how we see things. we make them even look more realistic by critisizing ourselves a little bit but in the end shining in a positive and understandable light.”

    nevertheless – i like to read that :-) go on MS

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