Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Windows 7 arrives on October 22 (Updated)

Those waiting anxiously for the next version of Windows now have a date to anticipate. Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 will be launched on October 22, 2009. This date, which is referred to as General Availability (GA), is in line with Microsoft's previous statement saying that it would have Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ready by the holidays. After the software giant unleashed the official Release Candidate on May 5, it became apparent that development on the follow-up to Vista was close to wrapping up.

Microsoft senior VP Bill Veghte revealed the company's launch plans in an interview Tuesday morning. "The feedback from the release candidate has been good," Veghte told CNET. Furthermore, the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build is expected to be made available to Microsoft partners in the last two weeks of July, according to Channel 10.

The Windows 7 launch will come just shy of three years after Vista development wrapped up and the OS was released to OEMs. (Boxed copies of Vista hit store shelves on January 30, 2007.) The timing is good for Microsoft, as it will come well in advance of the annual holiday shopping frenzy, even though the late-October release means that the company will miss out on back-to-school sales.

Windows 7 will come in six flavors: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. The lineup is an improvement over Vista, as it's apparent that Microsoft has taken to heart the criticism it faced over the Vista versioning system. Microsoft has yet to make any announcements on pricing.


Via the Windows Server Division WebLog, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Server 2008 R2 will be arriving at the same time as Windows 7: "Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM code is on track to be available to our partners sometime in the 2nd half of July. Windows Server 2008 R2 will also be broadly available about the same time as the Windows 7 GA date of Oct 22."

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