We all know that a beta release does not necessarily speak to the final product, but it doesn’t stop people from raising expectations. If recent praise is any indication, the hype surrounding Windows 7 should get it off to a positive start. A recent post over at ars technica talks about how the recent (positive) media hype should have the opposite effect of the media surrounding Vista at about this point in its release cycle.

I, like Emil, am one of the Vista users who haven’t had many problems with Vista since adopting it, but what is the root cause of Windows 7’s media praise? Is it simply because there was nowhere to go but up, or were there fundamental process changes that increased quality across the board? If you have any interest in software process and haven’t read Larry Osterman’s post about how Windows 7 handles changes/features, you should do it now.

The question I have is this. Does Microsoft have the new configuration management and Winmain branch merge controls, resulting in fewer bugs actually reaching the beta, to thank for its recent success? Or is it simply the media blowing things out of proportion again as it did back with Vista? Or something else entirely?

I can’t speak from personal experience since I haven’t used the beta myself (I’m not an MSDN or TechNet member) but I’m interested in getting people’s opinions on this. Come to think of it, the fact that I’m calling it “success” without any first hand experience may be exactly the point.