Windows 7 still baking in oven, insists Microsoft
Confirms leaked build isn't final version
Microsoft has denied rumours that suggest the latest leaked build of Windows 7 is the final iteration of the upcoming operating system.
The software giant went to great lengths to stamp out the speculation after Windows 7 build 7600 and Windows Server 2008 R2 build 7600 tipped up on BitTorrent tracker sites.
Many pondered that the build could in fact be the Windows 7 Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone code.
“We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7. When we RTM you will most certainly hear it here,” wrote  Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc.
“Just because a single build may have ‘leaked’ it does not signal the completion of a milestone such as RTM. As always, don’t believe everything that you read on the internet - except this post ;-).”
Microsoft added that Windows 7 would RTM “when it’s ready”. The company is pinning down the second half of this month for when it will rock up. The clock is ticking; Redmond has less than three weeks to stick to that schedule.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has revealed more plans about Windows 7 E - the firm’s version of the OS that will ship without Internet Explorer 8 in a move to appease (though not necessarily please) European competition watchdogs.
The vendor said it planned to make Windows 7 E available to European users on 22 October, which is the same day the rest of the world can expect to get their hands on a copy of the operating system.
Microsoft will additionally offer an IE 8 Feature Pack for Windows 7 E, intended for anyone who wants to use the company’s web browser.
But how well does the IE 8-free version of the upcoming OS perform without Microsoft’s browser installed?
Apparently internal testing of the product showed that “the vast majority of applications [including web-based apps] work on Windows 7 E editions without any changes.”
However, there is a caveat: Windows applications using the Web Browser control function could prove somewhat flaky in the compatibility department when certain apps depend directly on a specific browser.
“In particular, if while using the Web Browser control, you allow the application to open new windows that do not respect the user’s default browser choice, you may see some issues,” noted Windows 7 program manger Arik Cohen in a blog post  yesterday. ®