|OS family||Microsoft Windows|
|Source model||Closed source / Shared source|
|July 22, 2009|
|Latest release||6.1 (Build 7601: Service Pack 1) / February 22, 2011|
|Update method||Windows Update|
|Platforms||IA-32 and x86-64|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
|Preceded by||Windows Vista|
|Succeeded by||Windows 8|
|Articles in the series|
Windows 7 is an unsupported (by now, except for specialized embedded variants and Azure customers) 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 touching the screen, 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]
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. 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.
After Windows Vista was released, Microsoft announced a new plan for the next version of Windows, code-named Windows 7, in 2007. In 2008, it was announced that Windows 7 would also be the official name of the operating system.
Support lifecycle[change | change source]
|Mainstream support||January 13, 2015|
|Extended support||January 14, 2020|
|Applicable Windows 7 editions:|
|Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate, as well as Professional for Embedded Systems and Ultimate for Embedded Systems|
|Professional and Enterprise volume licensed editions, as well as Professional for Embedded Systems||Extended Security Updates (ESU) support ended on January 10, 2023|
|Windows Thin PC||Mainstream support ended on October 11, 2016|
Extended support ended on October 12, 2021
|Windows Embedded Standard 7||Mainstream support ended on October 13, 2015|
Extended support ended on October 13, 2020
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until October 10, 2023
|Windows Embedded POSReady 7||Mainstream support ended on October 11, 2016|
Extended support ended on October 12, 2021
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until October 8, 2024
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.
Milestone 2[change | change source]
The next build was called Milestone 2. It had a new taskbar and got Windows Live v 184.108.40.206.
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.
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.
References[change | change source]
- Mike Nash (October 14, 2008). "Why 7?". The Windows Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- "Announcing Availability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1". Microsoft. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- Thadani, Rahul (September 6, 2010). "Windows 7 System Requirements". Buzzle. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Microsoft. "Windows 7 Lifecycle Policy". Microsoft. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Microsoft Support Lifecycle". Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- 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.
- Lettice, John (October 24, 2001). "Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003". The Register. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
- "Microsoft cuts key Longhorn feature". Todd Bishop. Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. August 28, 2004. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
- Foley, Mary J (July 20, 2007). "Windows Seven: Think 2010". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Fried, Ina (October 13, 2008). "Microsoft makes Windows 7 name final". CNET. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (October 2008). "For Microsoft's Windows, 7th time's a charm". Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- "Product lifecycle Windows 7 Embedded". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
- "Product lifecycle Thin PC". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
- Oiaga, Marius (16 February 2008). "Windows 7 Milestone 1 (M1) Ultimate Build 6.1.6519.1". softpedia.
- "Action Center – Engineering Windows 7". blogs.msdn.microsoft.com.
- "Windows 7 to launch October 22". Archived from the original on 28 July 2009.
Other websites[change | change source]
| Windows Versions