News has come down the grapevine that Microsoft has already branched off winmain and started compiling RC1 branch builds of Windows 7, no doubt preparing for the public release of Windows 7 RC. This news has come in the form of a build tag which sports the typical naming scheme for milestone branch builds. 7048.winmain_win7rc1.090211-1625 is the tag. As you can see, this build was compiled on February 11th 2009 at 4:25 PM. On one hand it is good to see Microsoft moving this quickly with the development of Windows 7, but on the other it is a little concerning. Beta testers (and the public) will likely see RC1 within the next month or two and then likely will not see anything until Microsoft declare Windows 7 to be RTM, thus making the technical beta utterly USELESS.