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Microsoft says it again - no second beta for Windows 7

Schtum on when OS will ship

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Microsoft has restated that its next milestone release for Windows 7 will be the Release Candidate test of the OS and not a second beta.

The software giant’s Windows development boss Steve Sinofsky said in an official blog post on Saturday that there will only be one beta of Windows 7.

Many will see that reaffirmation as a clear sign that the Vista successor may land at some time in 2009. Some have predicted that Windows 7 could arrive as early as the third quarter of this year.

However, Microsoft is sticking characteristically to its guns about when it will let the operating system loose by remaining silent on when it expects to ship Windows 7.

“The obvious question is that we know the pre-beta was October 28, 2008, and the beta was January 7th, so when is the Release Candidate and RTM? The answer is forthcoming,” said Sinofsky.

“We are currently evaluating the feedback and telemetry and working to develop a robust schedule that gets us the right level of quality in a predictable manner.

"Believe me, we know many people want to know more specifics. We’re on a good path and we’re making progress. We are taking a quality-based approach to completing the product and won’t be driven by imposed deadlines.”

Partners are continuing to receive builds from MS, said Sinofsky, who also insisted that making the operating system a successful release involved collaboration industry-wide.

Microsoft first announced its decision to only release one beta of the OS at the Professional Developers Conference in October last year, when it dished out a pre-beta version of Windows 7 to attendees at the event.

Sinofsky reiterated the firm's delivery plan: First to provide a public beta - which arrived on 7 January - followed by a release candidate build, after which the product should RTM. But it's unclear at this stage whether the RC build will be made available to public or private testers. ®

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