The new boot screen that will welcome users in Windows 7 has been introduced in the development releases of the operating system past pre-Beta Build 6801. The video embedded at the bottom of this article, courtesy of GeekSmack, features the boot animation associated with builds 695x of Windows 7.
As you can see, the Starting Windows portion of the startup process is no longer a barren, black screen. Instead, four spheres with the traditional colors of the Windows brand come together and form an animated version of the logo. There is no telling, at this point in time, if this will be the effect that will welcome Windows 7 users on every boot, or if Microsoft will continue to tweak the startup screen for the final release of the operating system.
With Windows 7 pre-Beta Build 6801 Milestone 3 released at the Professional Developers Conference 2008 and at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008 in Los Angels, the Redmond company produced Build 6936 and then moved to the Builds 695x series. While Build 6801 is now widely available to the public, as the bits have been leaked and made available for download via torrent websites, this is not the case with Windows 7 Build 6951, 6954 and 6956. In this context, the video of the new boot screen menu will deliver a taste of what is to come in the first fully-fledged Beta of Windows 7.
Microsoft has already confirmed that the Windows 7 Beta bits are just around the corner. In fact, as early as January 13, DVDs with Windows 7 Beta will be ready to ship to MSDN Developer Conference (MDC) participants. Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, revealed at PDC 2008 that, following the Beta phase, Windows 7 would move to Release Candidate and then to RTM.