As Microsoft starts to spread more Windows 7 builds to beta testers, more screenshots and releases make it online for anyone to view and download. Microsoft tries to track down the leakers to make the release of Windows 7 more mysterious and exciting.
Starting September 12, Microsoft has started spreading M3 builds of the Windows 7 operating system within the company but also to selected beta testers outside of the company.
Microsoft officials frown upon the leaked versions because they might give the wrong idea to the public. Also, they kept a tight lid on the information surrounding the screenshots and the Windows 7 M3 release in general, but they are expected to release a broadscale beta of Windows 7 in December 2008 followed by the RTM (release to manufacturing) version just 6 months later, in the summer of 2009. The new rumored deadline of June 3, 2009 puts Windows 7 about 6 months ahead of the original deadline.
It is unclear whether or not Microsoft will be handing out early releases of Windows 7 at the upcoming PDC and WinHEC conventions; if they do, more leaked screenshots and builds are expected to leak from the hands of the attendees.
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