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As you may have heard by now, the first beta version of Windows 7 has been leaked on the Internet. Windows Vista shipped in November 2006 and the next version of Microsoft’s operating system may arrive a lot sooner than most people anticipated because, too put it mildly, Windows Vista didn’t really manage to capture people’s hearts.

Vista received lots of bad press and Microsoft is probably desperate to get Windows 7 out asap to fix this PR problem.

Although vaguely hinting at a 2010 release date, Microsoft hasn’t publicly disclosed the launch date of Windows 7 yet and the latest beta indicates it could well be a lot sooner. Earlier this week I heard a rumour that it may be in the first half of 2009, and judging by the quality of the first beta this shouldn’t be a problem.

There are already a couple of previews of Windows 7 on the web and today I had the opportunity to lay my hands on a system with VMware and the Windows 7 beta ISO. I never bothered to upgrade to Windows Vista but my first impressions of Windows 7 are pretty good, the beta is very stable. It feels a lot like the operating system that Vista should have been.

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