A few different people have posted screenshots of Windows 7 Milestone 1, which is a very early look at what’s supposed to be released in 2009 or 2010. The last time we saw screenshots of Windows 7 Milestone 1 there wasn’t really anything that exciting, but a Russian site (English translation by Google) has really busted the lid off of any mysteries.

Aside from the article that was written there are also two screenshot galleries that accompany it (here and here). From the article and the two galleries here are the things that we found interesting:

  • After you first setup the computer with Windows 7 you’ll be able to establish a “HomeGroup.” Sounds similar to a Workgroup, but I guess this is yet another step that Microsoft is taking in making networking an easy process for anyone that uses a computer.

    (Click to Enlarge)
    Windows 7 HomeGroup 

  • The Status Bar, as we already knew, expands hidden icons in a popup window to conserve the precious Taskbar space.
    Windows 7 Status Bar 
  • The search box in Windows Explorer is now resizable, which I’m surprised to see.
    Windows 7 Search Box
  • The Start Menu now makes it a bit easier to pin items that you use the most:

    (Click to Enlarge)
    Windows 7 Pin

  • The size of the Control Panel icons can be adjusted for those that like things a bit smaller:
    Windows 7 Control Panel
  • In just a few clicks you’ll be able to restore Windows back to the original state. It would be cool if this feature didn’t include the bloated software that the manufacturers typically bundle with Windows, but that’s doubtful.
    Windows 7 Wipe Restore
  • One of the features that I want right now in Vista is the full-width Start Menu searching (I trimmed out the middle of the screenshot to eliminate the abundance of whitespace). Super sweet!
    Windows 7 Start Search 

After looking at the screenshots in the article and the gallery I have to say that there is a lot more new stuff in Windows 7 Milestone 1 than I had expected. Microsoft still has about a year to develop new features and improve usability before they need to start focusing on polishing the operating system and squashing bugs. Well, that’s if they want to make the projected release date of 2009.

We’ll keep you informed when more Windows 7 news becomes available, but I have a feeling that the first milestone has been milked for everything it’s worth.

[via istartedsomething]