For months now you have been hearing about Microsoft Windows 7 and in particularly “Windows 7 build ****” we get many emails asking what the build codes mean and what one is the best to download so today we a going to briefly explain the meaning behind the Windows 7 builds. In the past few months every second website is posting an article “Windows 7 build 70** leaked” so i am assuming that you have seen something or other relating to the build number.
For example just a couple of moths ago Windows 7 build 7068 popped up, and today you can download Windows 7 build 7106, now as the latest number is higher this does not necessarily mean that the newest version is better or more stable, most people who are illegally downloading and installing the latest builds are probably unaware of this.
Lets take a quick look at how to decode the Windows 7 build number. for example here is a build code that was leaked not that long ago: 7068.0.winmain.090321-1322.
7068: The major build (version) number.
0: Minor internal revision number which has flipped between 1 and 0 several times.
Winmain: The code branch from which the build originates.
090321: The date in YY-MM-DD.
1322: 24 hour time, presumably in Pacific Standard Time
Now “Winmain” is the body of the project (Windows 7) this has been used since the beginning of Windows 7 development. See image below: (First public beta build)
As you can see in all builds of Windows 7 the “winmain” always remains the same (up until now that is), here are past build numbers:
you will notice i mentioned (up until now) this is where things get a little more interesting, now me move on to the “escrow code” this code refers to where change in the software development has paused / stalled at this point in time the developers need to remove all bugs and known issues so that the software can move into the manufacturing process.
Windows 7 build 7077 was the first build to enter a code escrow state, While people are still downloading Windows 7 build 7106 ,Windows 7 build 7077 is the version that will be available for purchase at the end of this year effectively the retail version.
Windows 7 build 7077 main code has been complete and now just needs to be polished up so to speak and all bugs & problems removed, Windows 7 build 7106 might sound “Better” but in actual fact its not “Better” the Windows 7 development team can not afford to tamper with the main “winmain” code any longer.
In this event the development team then go into a stage called branching, branching works by taking the current code escrow build and branches from that, so now we have two “versions” .
- winmain_win7rc (Windows 7 build 70xx)
- winmain (Windows 7 build 71xx)
Now if your still with me and haven’t died of bordom yet what i am trying to explain is that by downloading builds / branch builds such as Windows 7 build 7106 you are not getting a updated version but more of a test version and this may not represent anything close to the final product, We are being contacted at a great rate asking us why some software is not working under the latest builds (7106) and this is becasue it is an experemental build to test & debug other problems, So please while i no its great fun to think “Bigger is Better” in the case on Windows 7 builds its not.
The next build you should download is Windows 7 release cadidate (Windows 7 RC) which should contain the following string “winmain_winrc”. Microsoft are hard at work removing bugs, errors, problems so please bare with them until they are comfortable enough to release Windows 7 RC.