Windows 7 Could Debut In 2009

Numerous signs point to the possibility of an early arrival for Microsoft's next operating system.
For the record, Microsoft has said that it expects to roll out the Windows 7 computer operating system in 2010--but numerous signs indicate that the successor to the widely maligned Windows Vista could be available sooner than that.

Microsoft spent the past week heavily promoting and publicizing Windows 7 at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. The company performed numerous, live demonstrations of the operating system in action and has published a slew of screenshots.

"We're pretty excited about the work that we've done on performance," said Microsoft senior VP Steven Sinofsky, as he demonstrated the system onstage.

It all points to the fact that Windows 7 development is well advanced.

Also this week, Microsoft stated that it will introduce a beta version of Windows 7 "early next year." That could give Microsoft and its developers enough time to kick the tires on the OS to roll out a final version prior to year's end.

Microsoft needs to get Windows 7 out the door as soon as possible. Sales of Vista have flat lined—evidenced by the fact that the company's client unit posted a revenue gain of just 2% in the most recent quarter. This week's hype around Windows 7 means Vista sales will continue to decline. Vista, on the market for less than two years, is already pass.

The majority of businesses have decided to bypass Vista for enterprise use and most will upgrade their systems directly from XP to Windows 7.

Some system builders appear to believe that Windows 7 will be available in 2009. ASUS CEO Jerry Shen let slip that his company plans to offer laptops running Windows 7 as early as the second half of 2009.

"I think in the future, in the second half of next year we will put Windows 7 on Eee PCs," said Shen, in an interview published last week by Laptop magazine. In the interview, Shen said Asus, of Taiwan, will forego Vista entirely and continue offering systems with Windows XP or Linux pre-installed until Windows 7 is available.

Shen also told the magazine that some of ASUS' Windows 7 laptops will feature a touch-screen interface powered by the new OS. ASUS offers a range of low-cost, lightweight laptops under the Eee PC brand.

Whether it's late 2009 or early 2010, Windows 7's debut won't come soon enough for the legion of computer users that has thumbed its collective nose at Vista.