With the warm reception and the solid feel of the Windows 7 public beta, most are expecting the new operating system from Microsoft sooner rather than later. Microsoft, however, has remained tight-lipped on any earlier-than-expected release date, even hedging that we may not see it until 2010.
Microsoft has told everyone that Windows 7 may not ship until early 2010, but we’re starting to see signs pointing to a release that will happen sometime this year. Granted, the original date the software giant gave was for 2010, and it would be foolish for the company to promise a new date if it is still unsure if it can deliver.
Even at CES 2009, just when Microsoft announced the Windows 7 public beta, Windows executive Bill Veghte said regarding either a 2009 or 2010 release, “I'm telling them that it could go either way. ... We will ship it when the quality is right, and earlier is always better, but not at the cost of ecosystem support and not at the cost of quality.”
The Inquirer points to a webcast where Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich said that Windows 7 would be sent to manufacture three years after Vista did the same, which was in October 2006. Of course, that could be an approximate ballpark date, but it does lend hope for those who really want Windows 7 in time for Christmas.
CNet cites PC industry sources as saying that they have heard that Windows 7 is on track for a holiday release, which is what OEMs want as it would help boost sales of new computers.
It’s hard to see Windows 7 not being ready for consumption for another 10 months. The public beta that some enthusiasts are running as their primary OS is set to expire on August 1, 2009. It would be an all-too-perfect situation if those users would be able to transfer from the beta version to the final version, though expecting Windows 7 to be in a retail box by summer might be a little optimistic.
Still, the evidence is growing. Just last week we saw an early proposal for the free upgrade program for those who purchase a Vista-equipped machine after July 1, 2009.