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Windows Vista Successor Preview leaked out

It seems that Microsoft has been upping the ante; TG Daily and Neowin (opens in new tab) have revealed that a very early next version of Windows, Windows 7 or Seven, has already been sent to Key Partners - the likes of Dell, HP or IBM, for validation purposes.

A member of Neowin's Forum (opens in new tab) has even been able to publish what appears to be a genuine preview of the operating system - although this one did not carry any screenshots.

The build previewed is 6.1.6519 with a Graphics user interface which looks much like Windows Vista and the system, according to the previewer, was nippy consuming only 480MB after boot.

Although most observers believe that Microsoft will release Windows 7 in 2010, four years after Windows Vista, there are signs - including the eagerness with which Microsoft is working on Seven - that Seven will be released ahead of schedule - that's next year, in a bid to provide with a good reason for Windows XP owners to upgrade.

Windows Vista had an unusually long development period - more than five years compared to the less than three years between Windows 95 and Windows 98.

The current M1 build is available in English and features a new version of Media centre and has the capability of handling video cards from more than one vendor.

Backed in October, Microsoft (Via Engineer Eric Traut and Istartedsomething (opens in new tab)) showed Windows 7's Core Kernel known as MinWin which consumed only 40MB of memory.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.