Microsoft has confirmed that attendees of its two forthcoming developer conferences get an early version of Windows 7, the next version of its desktop client.
The company made the news official on a blog for the Professional Developer Conference (PDC), which takes place in Los Angeles from October 27th to the 30th. The following week will be the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), also in Los Angeles, and those attendees will also get the early beta.
"At this years PDC, keynote attendees will be among the first to receive the pre-beta build of Windows 7. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to attend 21 different sessions that drill down into the details of developing for Windows 7," wrote Denise Begley, a Microsoft marketing manager.
InternetNews.com first reported two weeks ago that Microsoft was aiming to release a beta at the PDC show, and that internally the company was aiming for a June 2009 final code release. Publicly, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has said Windows 7 will be released in the first half of 2010.
Vista, launched in early 2007, has become a PR problem for Microsoft due to numerous compatibility and performance issues since it hit the market. Microsoft has worked on the operating system over the past 18 months and released one Service Pack, but it has not been enough to counter overwhelming negative consumer sentiment.
Windows 7 won't be a radical departure from Vista. It will feature the same kernel technology, which has been upgraded with the first Service Pack and the release of Windows Server 2008. It will use the same device drivers as Vista as well.
Microsoft also announced more keynote speakers for PDC. Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the tools and servers division at Microsoft, will join Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie on the first day keynote to discuss a new Cloud Computing platform.