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Windows 7

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Windows 7
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Microsoft Windows 7 wordmark.svg
Microsoft Corporation
Initial releaseJuly 22, 2009; 12 years ago (2009-07-22) [info]
Stable release6.1[1] (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)[2] (February 22, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-02-22)) [info]
Source modelClosed source / Shared source
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Kernel typeHybrid
Update methodWindows Update
Platform supportIA-32 and x86-64
Preceded byWindows Vista[3]
Succeeded byWindows 8
Support status
Mainstream support ended as of January 13, 2015.[4]
Extended support until January 14, 2020.
Further reading

Windows 7 is a 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.

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. Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.

New and Changed Features

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.


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 poor countries)
  • Home Premium (for home users)
  • Professional (for small businesses)
  • Ultimate (all features)
  • Enterprise (same as Ultimate, but for businesses)


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 Black-comb 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.[5] 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.[6]

After Windows Vista was released, Microsoft announced a new plan for the next version of Windows, code-named Windows 7, in 2007.[7] In 2008, it was announced that Windows 7 would also be the official name of the operating system.[8][9]

Early testing versions

Milestone 1

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.[10]

Milestone 2

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

Milestone 3

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.[11]

Build 6801

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.


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.


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)

The Release Candidate was made available on May 5, 2009, and the build number is 7100.

Final version

Windows 7 was launched on October 22, 2009.[12]


  1. Mike Nash (October 14, 2008). "Why 7?". The Windows Blog. Microsoft. 
  2. "Announcing Availability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1". Microsoft. 
  3. Thadani, Rahul (September 6, 2010). "Windows 7 System Requirements". Buzzle. 
  4. Microsoft. "Windows 7 Lifecycle Policy". Microsoft. 
  5. Lettice, John (October 24, 2001). "Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003". The Register. 
  6. "Microsoft cuts key Longhorn feature". Todd Bishop. Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. August 28, 2004. 
  7. Foley, Mary J (July 20, 2007). Windows Seven: Think 2010. ZDNet. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  8. Fried, Ina (October 13, 2008). Microsoft makes Windows 7 name final. CNET. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  9. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (October 2008). For Microsoft's Windows, 7th time's a charm. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  10. Oiaga, Marius. "Windows 7 Milestone 1 (M1) Ultimate Build 6.1.6519.1". 
  11. "Action Center – Engineering Windows 7". 
  12. "Windows 7 to launch October 22". 

Other websites

Preceded by
Windows Vista
Windows Versions
Succeeded by
Windows 8