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Windows 7

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Windows 7
Windows 7 running on a laptop
DeveloperMicrosoft Corporation
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source modelClosed source / Shared source
Released to
manufacturing
July 22, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-07-22)
General
availability
October 22, 2009; 14 years ago
Latest release6.1[1] (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)[2] / February 22, 2011; 13 years ago (2011-02-22)[3]
Update methodWindows Update
PlatformsIA-32 and x86-64
Kernel typeHybrid
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Preceded byWindows Vista[4]
Succeeded byWindows 8
Official websitemicrosoft.com/en-us/windows/
Support status
Mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015.[5]
Extended support ended on January 14, 2020.

Windows 7 was eligible for the Extended Security Updates (ESU) service. This service was available via specific volume licensing programs for Professional & Enterprise editions, and via OEMs for some Windows 7 editions, in yearly installments. Security updates were available for the operating system until January 10, 2023.[6][7]

Exceptions exist, such as for Azure customers until 2024, and see also § Support lifecycle for details.

Installing Service Pack 1 is required for users to receive updates and support after April 9, 2013.[8][9]

The installation of a Service Pack 1 was required for all users in order to receive security updates and support after April 9, 2013.

Windows 7 is a no-longer supported version of Microsoft Windows, an operating system for personal computers. It is the successor to Windows Vista, the sixth major release of the Windows operating system. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 improves the speed, reliability, and compatibility from Windows Vista.

Windows 7 was once the most popular Windows version by far, but is by now third most popular with a tiny market share.

The beta version of Windows 7 was released on January 9, 2009, and the release candidate was released on May 5. The final version of Windows 7 was sent to PC manufacturers on July 22, 2009, so that they have three months to change it and include it with their computers. Windows 7 was released to the public on October 22, 2009. On January 22, 2020, Microsoft Internet Games Services stopped working on Windows 7. Extended Security Updates (ESU) is a paid computer program which allowed to receive security updates for some Microsoft products for 3 years after the end of extended support date, which is now in the past, excluding for some embedded editions and for Azure customers of the its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2.

New and changed features[change | change source]

Windows 7 includes many new features, such as touchscreen, supporting virtual hard disks, being faster on multi-core processors, and a redesigned taskbar. The taskbar allows users to pin the most frequently used programs directly to it, instead of on a toolbar. The glass user interface, Aero, has been improved with features such as Aero Shake, Aero Snap, and Aero Peek.

Windows 7 has removed some features that were in Windows Vista, including Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Calendar, Windows Ultimate Extras, and the InkBall game, as well as many customization options such as the Classic Start Menu. Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Photo Gallery were replaced by similar set of programs known as Windows Live Essentials. The Windows Live Essentials are not included in Windows 7, and have to be downloaded from Microsoft's website.

Editions[change | change source]

Release Candidate DVD (x64)

There are six editions of Windows 7, which contain different features that are meant to be suited for the customer:

  • Starter (for low-cost Personal computers)
  • Home Basic (released only in developing countries)
  • Home Premium (for home users)
  • Professional (for small businesses)
  • Ultimate (all features)
  • Enterprise (same as Ultimate, but for businesses)

Development[change | change source]

At first, a major version of Windows code-named Blackcomb was planned as the successor to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Features planned for Blackcomb included the Sidebar, an emphasis on looking for data, and an advanced storage system named WinFS. However, a minor release code-named Longhorn was announced for 2003, delaying the making of Blackcomb.[10] By the middle of 2003, Longhorn had gotten some of the features meant for Blackcomb. After three major viruses exploited flaws in Windows operating systems within a short time in 2003, Microsoft changed its development priorities, putting some of Longhorn's major development work on hold while they made new service packs for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Development of Longhorn was reset in September 2004, and it was renamed to Windows Vista. A number of features were cut from Windows Vista as it was being remade.[11]

After Windows Vista was released, Microsoft announced a new plan for the next version of Windows, code-named Windows 7, in 2007.[12] In 2008, it was announced that Windows 7 would also be the official name of the operating system.[13][14]

Support lifecycle[change | change source]

Support status summary
Expiration date
Mainstream supportJanuary 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)[8][9]
Extended supportJanuary 14, 2020 (2020-01-14)[8][9]
Applicable Windows 7 editions:
Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate,[8][9] as well as Professional for Embedded Systems and Ultimate for Embedded Systems[15]
Exceptions
Professional and Enterprise volume licensed editions, as well as Professional for Embedded SystemsExtended Security Updates (ESU) support ended on January 10, 2023[7]
Windows Thin PCMainstream support ended on October 11, 2016[16]
Extended support ended on October 12, 2021[16]
Windows Embedded Standard 7Mainstream support ended on October 13, 2015[15]
Extended support ended on October 13, 2020[15]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support ended on October 10, 2023[7]
Windows Embedded POSReady 7Mainstream support ended on October 11, 2016[15]
Extended support ended on October 12, 2021[15]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until October 8, 2024[7]

Early testing versions[change | change source]

Milestone 1[change | change source]

The first known build was called Milestone 1. It was just a customized version of Windows Vista and it had a send feedback feature since it was a pre-release version.[17]

Milestone 2[change | change source]

The next build was called Milestone 2. It had a new taskbar and got Windows Live v 3.1.1.0.

Milestone 3[change | change source]

The third Milestone was released in September 2008. It looked like Vista, but it had a new Action Center instead of the Security Center. The action center shows messages for many more things, not just security for Windows.[18]

Build 6801[change | change source]

Build 6801 was a customized version of Milestone 3 that was shown at the Professional Developers Conference and was given to the people that were there.

Pre-beta[change | change source]

Build 6933 was shown at PDC but was not given to the people attending. In December 2008, a leaked version of build 6956 was available for download on Peer To Peer Networks.

Beta[change | change source]

On January 9, 2009, build 7000 was released as a public beta. According to the Engineering Windows 7 team, users gave a lot of feedback.

Release Candidate (RTM)[change | change source]

The Release Candidate was made available on May 5, 2009, and the build number is 7200.

Final version[change | change source]

Windows 7 was launched on October 22, 2009.[19]

References[change | change source]

  1. Mike Nash (October 14, 2008). "Why 7?". The Windows Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  2. "Announcing Availability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1". Microsoft. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  3. http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/07/22/windows-7-has-been-released-to-manufacturing.aspx
  4. Thadani, Rahul (September 6, 2010). "Windows 7 System Requirements". Buzzle. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  5. Microsoft. "Windows 7 Lifecycle Policy". Microsoft. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  6. Spataro, Jared (September 6, 2018). "Helping customers shift to a modern desktop". Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Lifecycle FAQ-Extended Security Updates". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2019. The Extended Security Update (ESU) program is a last resort option for customers who need to run certain legacy Microsoft products past the end of support.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Microsoft Support Lifecycle". Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Rose, Stephen L (February 14, 2013). "Windows 7 RTM End Of Support Is Right Around The Corner". Springboard Series Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  10. Lettice, John (October 24, 2001). "Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003". The Register. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  11. "Microsoft cuts key Longhorn feature". Todd Bishop. Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. August 28, 2004. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  12. Foley, Mary J (July 20, 2007). "Windows Seven: Think 2010". ZDNet. Archived from the original on August 24, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
  13. Fried, Ina (October 13, 2008). "Microsoft makes Windows 7 name final". CNET. Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  14. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (October 2008). "For Microsoft's Windows, 7th time's a charm". Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 "Product lifecycle Windows 7 Embedded". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Product lifecycle Thin PC". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  17. Oiaga, Marius (February 16, 2008). "Windows 7 Milestone 1 (M1) Ultimate Build 6.1.6519.1". softpedia.
  18. "Action Center – Engineering Windows 7". blogs.msdn.microsoft.com.
  19. "Windows 7 to launch October 22". Archived from the original on July 28, 2009.

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Windows Vista
Windows Versions
2009-2012
Succeeded by
Windows 8