On a post GeekSmack, Windows tester Chris123NT explained how the lack of test builds and the speed with which Microsoft is moving towards RTM for Windows 7 is limiting testers' abilities to check if their bugs are fixed. While he acknowledges that the Windows team is getting lots of feedback data through the Windows 7 beta, that's not enough, he claims. "That won't fix rogue usability issues, or odd app incompatibility issues, or driver issues etc," Chris123NT writes, "So if anyone from the beta team reads this, please rethink your strategy and think about releasing some more builds for testing. It can't hurt, it can only help the end product."
Steven Sinfosky actually replied directly in the thread, and asked the disgruntled testers to contact him directly with any concerns they might have. "Feel free to email me the specifics of what you think we're not listening to," Sinofsky writes, "We're trying hard to be inclusive of folks with the broad beta - we're getting a lot more coverage than we would have previously in limited technical betas."
With previous Windows releases, testers (not the public) would often get monthly code drops so that they could see how their bugs were doing and if progress was being made. With Windows 7, this is no longer the case, and hence the dissatisfaction. The testers may certainly have a point; with only one more RC to go before RTM, it makes you wonder how Microsoft is going to catch all the bugs. It might not be a bad idea to release a few closed test releases to please the test crowd and catch some last-minute bugs.
Then again, with every build being leaked to torrent sites, the point might be moot.