Microsoft Announces Official Windows 7 Release Date
Article by George Norman
On 03 Jun 2009
This is not the first time that Redmond-based software developer Microsoft talks about the release date of the next iteration of the Windows-based operating system, Windows 7. The difference is that in the past, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 by the end of the year; now Microsoft has provided an official release date: Windows 7 GA (general availability) will be on October 22nd.

Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, Brandon LeBlanc, comments: “According to input from customers and partners we’ve made a lot of progress with Windows 7. Our milestone-to-milestone approach for Windows 7 is built on a great deal of feedback from customers and testers. This has been pivotal to the development of Windows 7. Since then we’ve made enough progress to feel really good about announcing today that Windows 7 will be in stores beginning October 22nd.”


So there you have it, official confirmation that Windows 7 will become available to the general public as of October 22nd – just like Acer said last month.

Just to put things in perspective, here is the path Windows 7 follows in its development process:
Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) which is already available for download ( download links and activation keys here )
Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing) which will occur in the second half of July, according to Brandon LeBlanc, but not until Microsoft’s top brass is happy with the operating system (details here).
Windows 7 GA (general availability) which will occur on the 22nd of October.

While announcing the release date of Windows 7, Microsoft also made sure to emphasize the fact that it will allow people who buy a PC with Vista preloaded onto it to upgrade to Windows 7. “Some people may not be able to wait for Windows 7 to arrive before having to order a new PC (like parents who are sending their sons or daughters off to school who need of a PC to take with them). Fortunately, there is no need to wait. Soon, customers will be able to take advantage of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program. This program enables participating retailers and OEMs to offer a special deal to upgrade to Windows 7 for customers purchasing a qualifying PC,” explained LeBlanc.

As we know from previous reports , only certain upgrade paths are available:
- Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium
- Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional
- Vista Ultimate -> Windows 7 Ultimate

If you are thinking of moving to Windows 7, here is a detailed list of new and enhanced features the OS has (features not available in XP and Vista, or features that were available but have been enhanced).

In related news, Microsoft also announced that it will drop the “run 3 apps at a time” limitation for Windows 7 Starter. The operating system will still be severely limited in other areas, but not in this one (details here).

UPDATE: The same timetable applies to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, RTM, GV, Release Date
About the author: George Norman
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