updated 04:25 pm EDT, Wed September 24, 2008
Windows 7 Alpha Soon
Microsoft this afternoon confirmed that it would have a functional version of Windows 7 for developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference on October 28th. The build, referred to as a pre-beta build, will be handed out to attendees of the event keynote by company Windows Senior VP Steven Sinofsky. Specific details of what will be revealed aren't mentioned, though Microsoft says its public presentation will talk about the kernel, or operating system core, as well as Windows 7's interactions with hardware and networks and the user interface itself.
The news indirectly confirms reports of a delayed beta, which allegedly would push back the release of a first feature-complete Windows 7 testing version until mid-December. No reasons for the still-unofficial delay have been mentioned, although the schedule is still rumored to involve a fast-track release that may actually ship Windows 7 later in 2009 rather than the publicly stated early 2010.
Microsoft is so far known to be developing a multi-touch interface for Windows 7 but is also experimenting with an Office-influenced interface and is widely believed to be using Windows 7 as lower-key update rather than a major architectural refresh, as with Vista.