Windows 7 Milestone 3 Build 6801 Review

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#1
So as many people know this was handed out ath the PDC conference this week. Well some MVP's were also invited to test this out and give feedback on this build to help make the testing process better. This is all happening before the Official Beta Begins. So let me begin then.

First i must say this. This is a Pre-Beta build. So lots of things work. While others are still buggy at best. Within 2 hours i had already installed it twice cause of a fatal crash. So without a doubt this isnt for the weak or those that hate to constantly reinstall. To show you thta i am currently running this here is a shot of my system properties.



This build comes with the Aero interface. But not like the one previewed at the PDC. That is a newer internal build previewed there while we have a older M3 build that we are testing.

With that being said this does look a lot like Windows Vista right now. There are lots of similarities. But also lots of differences. Most notably the use of the Ribbon type interface in applications such as Paint.



The next item on the list that you will notice a change in is the Theme selection menu. This one you will notice the posting form for Tech-Forums in the background when i took the screenshot. So while you may say that the System Properties Image was photochopped. It would be kinda hard for me to go thru all the trouble to doctor the image for this screenshot.



Next the Start Menu. Right now there isnt much difference. But what is included is. The Strat Menu setup screen is a bit different now.



That is just the setup selection menu. It gives you a nice clean interface to choose what you want to do. I then went to customize and added jsut about every option while only taking off 2 items. The Help and the Recently added Items. This is what the Start Menu looks like with all the new items added for Windows 7.



So far i have installed Opera, Silverlight, Flash, Shockwave, Java, WinRar, WLM, WinAmp and have not had any issues. Sadly the reson this is already my 2nd install is cause on my first attempt i tried to install a Anti-Virus, namely Avast. This caused a catastrophic fatal error. Upon restart i could not access the start menu, or any items in it. I could not even get a run box. So that caused the force of the install i am on now.

I am in the process of installing more software along with maybe a set of Sound Drivers. Not sure if i want to test that water yet.

So far my first taste of Windows 7 has been pretty much what i expected. Buggy in respect to certain items. As was the Vista Beta. AV's were always a issue with that beta. So i expected that. Aside from that expectation i would say my experience has been plesant. It is stable enough for testing but not for everday use. There isnt much changed in this setup from Windows Vista. Not enough right now for people to get all excited and hasty over to want it enough to download it and put their system at risk.

With that being said. I am enjoying every minute of my time on it. I am still picking up on some new things here and there. Notcing little differences between this and Vista. But at the same time it has the familiar feel of Vista. No sidebar anymore. But there are now desktop gadgets that you can place anywhere you want. As i find more i will post.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Here is something interesting. The Taskbar is different now. It isnt locked anymore. It is a more free standing section now. There isnt that whole section locked like it was in XP/Vista and the older versions of Windows. Let me show you.



That is how the area looks. Just click on a icon. I clicked on the up arrow.



This is what it bring up. The items are not necessarily hidden anymore. But they do not extend the taskbar to lengths that great. There is only the clock and 3 items now shown. Never any more. Which i like. I think that is a great idea.

Again will post more when i find it.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Excellent findings.

Not surprised to see the ribbon implementation... i'm assuming MS really wants to push this until it can be found at least in all standard Windows applications. Pretty soon we'll all be searching for commands to our eyes pop out :lol:. The 2007 Office interface still takes some getting used to and I've been using it for a good 2 years.

At first glance it appeared to be Vista to me as well. That could be a huge turn off for those still complaining about Vista's problems if it looks just like a modified Vista with slightly new looks and some minor but not important enhancements. I'm guessing IE8 is running on there too. Any significant performance problems/gains from what you can see so far?

Do you know whats up with the change to the taskbar? Seems like they're going for more of a apple like dock at the bottom of the screen. Personally the lack of a neat taskbar for opened programs easily turned me away from OS X (at least the older versions) when I first used computers.

Agree with the notification stack... I guess thats what you could call it. Users who don't want to go looking for settings won't haft to worry about the notification tray hogging thier taskbar anymore. But how would this work with applications that utilize tooltips in notifying users when a paticular action is required of them? Does the once "hidden" icon in this new menu take over one of the three visible icons in the tray until it is no longer needed or does this menu just pop up when it displays the tooltip?


Addendum:


No sidebar anymore, eh?

I say that's awesome! :smile: Never cared for it. Really just liked it with gadgets on thier own and no sidebar. The only disadvantage would be for those that enjoyed (for some reason) having thier sidebar constantly visible, so that those nice little gadget distractors they downloaded when they are supposed to be working would always be visible regardless of w/e window they may have open. I'm assuming that free floating gadgets could not be configured in this matter anymore?....
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
Yes this looks like Vista right now. But as i noted.

This build comes with the Aero interface. But not like the one previewed at the PDC. That is a newer internal build previewed there while we have a older M3 build that we are testing.
This is build 6801. They showed 6933 at the PDC Conference. Which had a much more updated look to it.

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows Welcome

There is what it currently is looking like. The Taskbar is updated along with many more things. While my build still looks like Vista is isnt staying that way.

Yes IE8 Beta 2 is the version they have on here. I have close to the same amount of stuff running on here as i do on XP and i have 43% RAM usage. About the same as Vista SP1. So no performance increase yet.

There is options to customize that area. If you look at the pic it even shows the Customize link there. That will allow you to adjust what actions are taken when you have something like Outlook open in the taskbar and what will happen. It will still show the noifications. How i dont know just yet. I will get email rolling and take a shot of what it looks like when new emails are recieved.

No sidebar. They are now just desktop gadgets. I liked the sidebar. So much that i installed it on XP. No these gadgets can not be set to always be on top.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
Interesting new theme I see. They're really pushing towards that transparent look (even more so from Vista) from what I can see. Grouped opened windows preview... defientely a feature Vista should've had. And Media Player 12... not much change from what I can see there.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
A lot more detail reviewed here for anyone interested.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#7
Yes my review isn't detailed only because i know that this build isn't much different than Vista. I have pointed out the main differences seen at this point. Being M3 there isnt much else included. To this point it is very similar to Vista. The same apps that work on Vista work on Win7 right now. I didnt see the point of going into detail about everything cause well, most of the stuff is already known to this point. :wink:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
Thanks for your post, Mak!

I've installed Windows 7 on two PCs now, hoping for the best :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10


The new taskbar is in this build. Just have to unlock it.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#12
Here is something interesting. The Taskbar is different now. It isnt locked anymore. It is a more free standing section now. There isnt that whole section locked like it was in XP/Vista and the older versions of Windows. Let me show you.



That is how the area looks. Just click on a icon. I clicked on the up arrow.



This is what it bring up. The items are not necessarily hidden anymore. But they do not extend the taskbar to lengths that great. There is only the clock and 3 items now shown. Never any more. Which i like. I think that is a great idea.

Again will post more when i find it.
Nope. First thing I do when it hides my icons in XP (which I'm mainly using) I untick "hide inactive icons" so it would show me the all icons I have in the taskbar because when I want everything to be a click away, not click to pop up and then click what do you want.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
I agree Sarge, one of the first things I do on a new XP or Vista install, stop it hiding my notification icons. (mind you, I get rid of all the unwanted dross completely, but those I leave I want to be immediately visible and clickable)
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#14
Yes. That may be true but the whole point of showing those screenshots was to show that Win7 doesnt extent the taskbar with icons even a quater of the the way across the screen. While you may show your icons, the normal for most people is to try and hide them away. So this feature will be great for them as the icons will be out of sight and out of mind. While you may find this feature to be annoying, most of the general public will love it.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
I must agree with Terry and Sarge here... The one feature I'm hating in 6801 is that it assumes I don't want my icons showing... It's an extra click to access their functionality (Some icons, like SnagIt, I press every couple of minutes).

There's a reason I have two monitors and 1680x1050 resolution on each - it's so my taskbar can show me everything I have running :smile:
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#16
Mahmoud just click the customize link. There change the function of things like snagit that you use all the time to always show icon and notifications. Then you dont have that issue with the double click. :wink:

This taskbar is more interactive as it allows you to choose which icons you see and have access to at all times. While in Vista and XP it would always show them. Icons like my AV and UltraMon i dont need to see all the time. I know they are there and working. So why do i need to see them?

With this taskbar i jsut set icons i access all the time to show like WLM, Email, uTorrent and that to always show and i can access them when i want. Then have the rest out of site and out of mind.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
Ah, I didn't give it the time of the day to realize it had that functionality :smile:
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#18
Yes i messed with that a bit so that i could get my email and my things down so that i didnt have to doulbe click. that is why i like the new taskbar. Cause it does have little things like that. :wink:

Along with the testing i am doing for that got my Vista SP2 invite as well. I will be busy.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#19
Dear [Insert Name Here],
The Microsoft Windows® beta team would like to extend an invitation to you to participate in the Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 beta program planned for early 2009 as announced at the Professional Developers Conference Oct 2008. Accepting this invitation will allow you to access pre-release versions of the next version of Windows for the purpose of evaluating and providing feedback. We highly value your past feedback and know we can count on you again to help us build a great new version of Windows!
The beta version is not available quite yet but we need to assemble a great team of beta testers early so you are ready to go when we are! If you accept this invitation you'll be notified when the beta version becomes available. In the meantime you can visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows7 and http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008R2 to learn more about what's coming.
What you will get if you choose to participate
 Early access to downloadable beta copies of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
 Access to private newsgroups to discuss the beta with other testers and with Microsoft staff
 Access to various online events that will highlight new features and allow you to interact with the development team
 The ability to report bugs and track their status
 An opportunity to help us build a better Windows by assisting us in finding and fixing issues
What we will ask of you if you choose to participate
 We request that you download, burn to DVD and install Windows and/or Windows Server on at least one PC
 We ask that you actively participate in discussions on the newsgroups and share your opinions with us and others
 We also request that you file bugs if you encounter them as well as respond to surveys as you can.
 We may ask you to consider being a press reference or invite you to share your Windows 7 user experience with others
Things you should know about Windows 7 and the beta program
 The beta will be available in English, German, Japanese and Arabic. A language pack for Hindi will also be provided
 Availability will be via download only. No media will be provided so you'll need a DVD burner to create installation media
 PCs that support and run Windows Vista should allow you to run Windows 7.
 Servers that support and run Windows Server 2008 should allow you to run Windows Server 2008 R2
 Participating in the beta does not necessarily mean you will receive a free final product.
 Participation is strictly voluntary but we ask that if you do accept this invitation you report bugs as you see them as well as actively participate in the newsgroups and other events.
 Spots are limited and from time to time we may remove inactive participants in order to make space available for others who are willing to actively provide feedback.
Just got mine. So some of you should start to see the emails coming in.
 
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