Not with RTM buildsEven as Windows 7 was making its way through the Milestone releases, the operating system was praised for its consistent level of stability. At the same time, users running the Beta release of Win 7 were able to test drive hands-on a platform that didn't feel like a Beta at all. The quality of Windows 7 Build 7000 even managed to convince Doug Holland, developer at Intel Corporation since March 2007, working in the Mobility group. Holland indicated that Windows 7 Beta was very stable, compared with previous pre-release versions of Windows.
“While I do believe that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are very stable operating systems (...) in evaluating the stability of the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems, I compared them to previous beta operating systems and not to systems that had achieved the RTM (release to manufacturing) milestone,” Holland brought clarification to reports having him declaring the Beta of Win 7 as “incredibly stable.”
As far as Microsoft is concerned, Windows 7 is now past its four core development milestones, M1, M2, M3 and Beta, announced by the end of 2008 (even if public downloads of Build 7000 were made available only on January 10). The software giant has already confirmed that Windows 7 Beta is feature-complete, and that only a few features tucked away in the operating system will be unveiled at a later date.
“I merely [qualified] the level of stability against previous beta operating systems. If you understand the operating system and device drivers have achieved the beta milestone and have not been released to manufacturing, then I would encourage you to download either the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 betas and check them out. If our IT department allowed, I really would use them on my corporate laptop, but until then I'll just use them on less critical machines,” Holland added.
Still, Holland emphasized that Windows 7 Beta continued to be nothing more than a pre-release version of the next iteration of Windows. At the same time, chances are good that applications and drivers tailored to Win 7 will also be in Beta stage. Still, the Beta label is an indication of inherent problems, and, in this context, exceptions to the stability offered by Windows 7 are bound to appear , especially in real-world, users-specific scenarios.
Windows 7 Beta is available for download here.
Product keys to activate Windows 7 Beta are available here.