Windows 7 is alive and kicking, and despite the fact that Microsoft has gagged the details about the next iteration of Windows almost to perfection, details managed to slip through the Redmond giant's fingers.
The initial Windows 7 Milestone 1 build was dropped at the end of 2007, and in early January 2008, only to close partners of the company. But the development of Windows 7 has moved along since version 6.1 Build 6519.1.x86.fre.winmain.071220-1525. From build 6519.1, Microsoft went up all the way to Version 6.1 Build 6574.1, reportedly made available in March 2008.
But even with the development milestone label of 6.1.6574.1, Windows 7 is still at the Milestone 1 stage as ThinkNext revealed. With this release, the Redmond company has tweaked the installation process of the operating system only superficially, but now the License Agreement references Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista. The next version of Windows still features the same kernel as Vista, the move to MinWin has yet to take place, and even the same editions, namely the Windows 7 Business, HomeBasic, HomePremium, Ultimate, HomeBasic N, Business N and Starter SKUs.
The new Windows 7 installer no longer requires the introduction of a product key until the finalization of the installation process, and after the initial setup, and even at that time, the phase can be skipped entirely, permitting users to run the operating system as a trial. Windows 7 also creates a hidden 500.0 MB partition which is not accessible via Windows Explorer, and is dedicated to management purposes.
Windows 7 M1 Build 6.1.6574.1 features a touched-up graphical user interface. Windows Explorer comes with two new buttons, one for Views and the other for switching the preview panel on or off. The March 2008 edition of Windows 7 M1 brings to the table the Health Center, complete with mouse over reactions. Windows 7 M1 Build 6.1.6574.1 also permits end users to temporarily disable the User Account Control in scenarios where the UAC requires multiple confirmations.