Microsoft director Dough Howe unveiled at WinHEC that they're aiming to deliver the next-generation Windows 7 operating system in time for the 2009 holiday buying season, Howe's presentation appeared to confirm Windows 7 will be available by mid-2009:
The slides and Howe's presentation appeared to confirm what has been widely speculated--but something Microsoft has not outright said--namely that Windows 7 is aimed to ship around mid-year, in time to be on machines that ship for the 2009 holiday buying season. After the session, Howe essentially confirmed that Microsoft is aiming Windows 7 for the holidays.
"Definitely the holiday focus is going to be on 7," Howe told me.
Although hardly shocking, Microsoft has worked hard not to publicly commit to shipping Windows 7 for next year's PCs. While partners have been told privately when to expect Windows 7, the company is trying to avoid the PR hit that would come with missing another deadline. Officially, the party line is that Windows will ship within three years of the January 2007 consumer release of Windows Vista.
Microsoft hasn't said more about that timing at either this week's WinHEC or last week's Professional Developer Conference. It has said that it will ship a beta version early next year and also hinted that only one release candidate is planned.