Microsoft To Release Windows 7 In Fourth Quarter - InformationWeek

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5/11/2009
11:29 AM
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Microsoft To Release Windows 7 In Fourth Quarter

Early test versions of the operating system have been getting generally positive reviews.

Windows 7 screen shot
(click image for larger view)
Windows 7 screen shot

After keeping its lips zipped for months, Microsoft is finally giving a bit more clarity to Windows 7's release date. The company will release the new version of its flagship operating system in the fourth quarter of 2009, Microsoft said Monday.

Microsoft isn't yet publicly setting an exact release date, but it's clear it expects Windows 7 will be ready for the winter holidays.

"With early [Release Candidate] testing and partner feedback we've received over the past few weeks, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability," Bill Veghte, senior VP of Microsoft's Windows business, said in a statement.

With Microsoft only going so far as to say that Windows 7 will be released during the fourth quarter, speculation will likely continue. It's unclear whether Microsoft will release the operating system just in time for the holiday season, or earlier in the quarter, perhaps during October. According to a recent report, an executive with computer manufacturer Acer has said the company plans to begin selling laptops running Windows 7 by Oct. 23.

For more than a year, Microsoft had given little guidance on Windows 7's release date, saying publicly only that Windows 7 would be released about three years after the release of Windows Vista, which would put it on track for sometime late this year or early next.

Though Veghte said Microsoft is "confident" in its ability to release the operating system in the time frame the company has set, Windows releases -- most notably Windows Vista -- have suffered delays before. Microsoft appears to be giving itself at least a little wiggle room in case of setbacks.

"It's important to note that quality is key and we're taking a milestone-by-milestone approach," Veghte said. "We will not ship Windows 7 until it meets the quality bar we demand for our customers."

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