Microsoft's Windows 7 was looking good running on an ASUS laptop (with bamboo paneling) at WinHEC. The OS is set to ship in mid 2009, much earlier than expected. (Source: Ina Fried/CNET News)Windows 7 is set to drop mid-year 2009, says Microsoft
At Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), an important yearly event for the tech giant, new hardware details on the upcoming Windows 7 weren't the only revelation that Microsoft had in store. Perhaps the most significant development of the conference came as a minor clarification -- Microsoft set a solid timeframe for when it plans to release Windows 7, barring unforeseen problems.
Originally, speculation was that Microsoft might field a Windows Vista successor in 2011 or 2012 as there was over 5 years between the release of Windows XP and Windows Vista. However, with less than glowing reception of Vista, largely due to poor hardware partner support and a large footprint, Microsoft stepped up its efforts to launch its new Windows OS, which would set right the places where Vista went wrong.
Early this year, 2010 was what some Microsoft executives were saying to expect for a release date. However, as the year progressed, Microsoft's top executives became increasingly optimistic that the OS could be delivered in late 2009. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer first floated the possibility of a 2009 release earlier this year. Microsoft director Doug Howe showed slides in a WinHEC presentation that all but confirmed a 2009 release -- and even earlier than expected. His slides stated that Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7 mid-year, in time to be included on the machines to be sold during the holiday buying season. Mr. Howe stated, "Definitely the holiday focus is going to be on 7" [via dailytech].
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