AfterDawn: Tech news

Windows 7 coming in time for the holidays

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 12 May 2009 20:33 User comments (10)

Windows 7 coming in time for the holidays Microsoft has confirmed this week that it expects Windows 7 to ship before the end of 2009, in time for the holiday season.
Previously, it was believed the company would ship the new operating system around the three-year anniversary of Vista (in early 2010), but Windows VP Bill Veghte has now admitted different. Veghte also notes that Windows Server 2008 R2 will ship at the same time.

The news comes one week after Microsoft made available the Windows 7 Release Candidate. A few notable PC builders, such as Acer, have even been publicly stated they believe a final version of Windows 7 will be available in October.

Veghte also says that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, when used together, will "deliver significant cost savings and productivity gains with features such as DirectAccess and BranchCache. Microsoft is making sure to tell businesses—now more than ever—about how the new versions of its software can help save them money in the long run."

Previous Next  

10 user comments

113.5.2009 0:12

I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with the release candidate so far. I used vista for a short time about 6 months after it came out and went back to XP pro. It is definetly a faster more polished operating system so far. I have XP pro, and Ubuntu dual booting on one drive, and the Windows 7 RC on another. I find myself booting into windows 7 the most.

213.5.2009 0:40

I am eagerly awaiting the release date....hopefully it will not be a disappointment!

313.5.2009 5:38

from :)

~ Microsoft: Windows 7 release in August '09

Originally posted by article on the Register:
Surrenders 2010, hype machine fired up

Microsoft has officially dropped the façade on Windows 7 in 2010 and conceded that its essentially completed operating system will ship this year.

Windows 7 will be released to manufacturing in about three months, pending feedback on the current release candidate, senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group Steven Sinofsky said Monday.

RTM is when the operating system will be considered finished, and mass-production will begin with code pressed on CDs and code sent to OEMs for installation on new PCs.

A three-month date puts the RTM in August, putting PCs running Windows 7 in retail stores in October for the holiday shopping season if the usual three-month production and channel ramp-up is followed.

Acer, the world's second-largest manufacturer of PCs, last month nailed the Windows 7 launch date as October 23.

To put things in some context, Windows XP - the predecessor to the current Windows Vista - was released to manufacturing in the month of August and officially launched that following October.

Sinofsky buried the three-month date deep within a blog posting about Microsoft's release schedule. Ever the player, Sinofsky couched his words in the standard Microsoft corporate caveats. "Ultimately our partners will determine when their PCs are available in the market," he wrote.

RTM will also depend on whether the feedback and telemetry on Windows 7 matches Microsoft expectations. Microsoft is monitoring feedback and telemetry from the current release-candidate phase on devices that are being installed, and drivers, system performance in the areas of start-up and shut down, and the responsiveness of Internet Explorer.

Sinofsky can say Microsoft is monitoring all it wants. This operating system's a tuned-up version of Windows Vista that's largely finished thanks to the heavy lifting done on that previous version of Windows.

Microsoft is now in the standard, final phase of testing with features locked down. Nothing short of a major code re-write thanks to some hidden architectural flaw, overlooked security hole, or coding gotcha is going to prevent Windows 7 in October.

Furthermore, Microsoft on Monday began talking "customer wins" for Windows 7 among business users, meaning that the company's marketing and communications people - the last phase in the development and delivery cycle - are spinning up. Microsoft cited Pella Corporation, Continental Airlines, and the City of Miami as early Windows 7 wins.

These were very likely existing Microsoft and Windows customers rather than "wins", though, and either signed up or were asked to be early adopters - and given early access to code - because of their size or perceived importance in the build and testing processes.

To help sell Windows 7 to business, Microsoft on Monday used some familiar ideas in connection with these customers: the ability to create a productive and efficient environment, control costs, and security and data protection for corporations and small-and-medium-sized companies.

Main PC ~ Intel C2Q Q6600 (G0 Stepping)/Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/2GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500/Zalman CNPS9700/Antec 900/Corsair HX 620W
Network ~ DD-WRT ~ 2node WDS-WPA2/AES ~ Buffalo WHR-G54S. 3node WPA2/AES ~ WRT54GS v6 (inc. WEP BSSID), WRT54G v2, WRT54G2 v1. *** Forum Rules ***

413.5.2009 11:43

Windows 7 is starting to grow on me. With Vista, I was using over 1700mb of memory at idle. Since I upgraded to 7, I'm only using 850mb of memory at idle. Startup time is faster, and the OS just feels "lighter" compared to Vista.

513.5.2009 16:05

I hope Vista users will get it a lot cheaper? lol

613.5.2009 16:20

Originally posted by brockie:
I hope Vista users will get it a lot cheaper? lol
Yeah right, lol. I heard there will be 3 or more versions of Windows 7. I think that's ridiculous.

713.5.2009 22:38

Can't wait. It is already better than Vista. There are still a several big problems, hopefully a few will be fixed before release.

815.5.2009 10:21

Isnt it about time we were given FULL SOFT SLED MICROSOFT, instead of just being able to watch what we have already recorded... !!!!

93.6.2009 12:03

Windows 7 to Arrive on October 22

Originally posted by Paul Thurrott @

It's a Date: Windows 7 to Arrive on October 22

Microsoft revealed that it will deliver Windows 7 to customers on October 22, 2009, marking the conclusion of one of the most trouble-free Windows development cycles in the company's history.

"We're confident of where we are in the development cycle and that it is ready to be shared with customers and partners," Microsoft Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer said during a keynote address at Computex 2009 in Tapei. "We've received great feedback from our partners who are looking forward to offering Windows 7 to their customers in time for the holidays."

The October 22 date is what Microsoft calls General Availability (GA). This is when finished retail versions of the product will appear on new PCs and in retail boxes for the first time. But Windows 7 will be completed well before that: Microsoft also noted that it will complete development of Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2) in the second half of July.
This is the so-called Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. At RTM, the code for Windows 7 is delivered to PC makers so that they can begin prepping their Windows 7-based products.

A number of details still need to be resolved. Microsoft has yet to announce pricing or licensing for Windows 7, and although the company has said that it will again offer free upgrades to anyone who purchases a new PC before the Windows 7 release, it has yet to specify details of that plan either. Generally speaking, those who purchase a Windows Vista-based PC after a certain date will qualify for a free copy of Windows 7.[/quote:

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Jun 2009 @ 12:03

Main PC ~ Intel C2Q Q6600 (G0 Stepping)/Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/2GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500/Zalman CNPS9700/Antec 900/Corsair HX 620W
Network ~ DD-WRT ~ 2node WDS-WPA2/AES ~ Buffalo WHR-G54S. 3node WPA2/AES ~ WRT54GS v6 (inc. WEP BSSID), WRT54G v2, WRT54G2 v1. *** Forum Rules ***

1025.6.2009 11:56

Microsoft Extends Windows 7 RC Download to August 15

Paul Thurrott @

Microsoft is extending the public download period for the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) from the end of June to mid-August. News of the
extension was first reported on the SuperSite Blog yesterday, then later confirmed by Microsoft.

"The Windows RC download program closes August 15," Windows OS Senior Community Manager Stephen Rose wrote in a blog posting. "After that, you
won't be able to get the download, but you can still install the RC and get a [product] key if you need one."

Those still on the Windows 7 Beta, which was released to the public back in January, face a more pressing deadline. Beginning July 1, that
version of Windows 7 will continue to work normally but will automatically reboot every two hours until it officially expires on
August 1. The cure for this behavior, of course, is to upgrade to the RC build. That build doesn't expire until next year.

Microsoft will most likely finalize Windows 7 in the weeks ahead. The company had previously announced that it would release Windows 7 to
manufacturing by mid-July and then deliver it to customers in October.

Microsoft Holds the Line on Windows 7 Pricing, Launches Limited-Time Promotion

Paul Thurrott @

Microsoft announced its retail pricing plans for Windows 7 this morning. First, the good news: Contrary to rumors, the company is not raising prices. The bad news? It's not significantly lowering prices either. In fact, most versions of Windows 7 will simply cost exactly the same as their Windows Vista predecessors.

In the United States, three versions of Windows 7 will be widely available at retail: Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate.
Pricing for these products breaks down as follows:

*Home Premium (Upgrade) - $119.99
*Home Premium (Full) - $199.99
*Professional (Upgrade) - $199.99
*Professional (Full) - $299.99
*Ultimate (Upgrade) - $219.99
*Ultimate (Full) - $319.99

Windows 7 Home Premium is the only product that doesn't have the exact same pricing structure as the Vista equivalents. Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade) is $10, or 8 percent, cheaper than Windows Vista Home Premium (Upgrade). And Windows 7 Home Premium (Full) is $40, or 17 percent, less expensive than its predecessor. (Similar pricing is available in other markets as well.)

To help avert criticism, Microsoft and its retail partners will temporarily offer steep discounts on the Upgrade versions of Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional only. Consumers who preorder these products online between June 26, 2009 and July 11, 2009 in the United States and Canada will pay just $49.99 for Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade), a $70 discount, or $99.99 for Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade), a $100 discount. The deals will be made available at ******, Best Buy, Microsoft, and at other participating online retailers.
Consumers in Japan, France, Germany, and the UK can also pre-order Windows 7 for similarly short timeframes, though the exact dates vary.

Microsoft also announced that it would allow consumers who purchase a Windows Vista-based PC between June 26, 2009 and January 31, 2010 to receive a free copy of Windows 7. Called the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, this program is global and completely free. Microsoft hopes it will address the problems caused by Windows 7 not shipping in time for the back-to-school PC selling season, which is currently underway.

The company also revealed that it will offer consumers in the European Union (EU) the Full versions of Windows 7 only through at least December 31, 2009, because of antitrust issues there which preclude it from bundling Internet Explorer with the OS. During this time period, EU users (excluding the UK) will be able to purchase the Full versions of Windows 7 at the Upgrade prices. Traditional Upgrade versions of Windows 7 will appear in the EU eventually, Microsoft says, at which point it will return to its usual pricing structure.

There's a lot more going on here, including a few pricing issues that have yet to be resolved.

Too Many Questions Remain in Wake of Windows 7 Pricing Announcement

Paul Thurrott @

Typically, when Microsoft announces something as important as, say, the retail pricing structure of Windows 7, the announcement is designed to answer questions, not cause them. But in the case of this particular announcement, there are more questions than answers. That's pretty astonishing, given the months of time that the software giant had to communicate this message.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced the retail pricing for Windows 7 and revealed a limited-time promotional offer through which customers can purchase Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional -- but not, oddly, Ultimate -- for drastically reduced prices. Much of the mainstream press incorrectly reported that Microsoft had sharply cut prices on Windows 7, but that's not true. After two weeks, the "Crazy Eddie" pricing ends and Windows 7 goes back to the normal pricing structure. That is, it will cost about as much as its predecessor, Windows Vista.

Why criticize even a temporary price cut? Because, according to Microsoft, only about 5 percent of Windows users acquire the product at retail. The vast majority of customers acquire Windows with a new PC or, in the case of larger businesses, through a subscription-based volume-licensing program that is version-agnostic. Put simply, Microsoft gets a lot of free press for this stunt, but the fact remains that very few people (relative to the installed base of Windows, more than a billion people worldwide) will even take advantage of the deal.

And depending on where you live, that deal might not even be available -- or will be offered with sharply different terms or much higher prices. In Australia, for example, Microsoft isn't offering any promotional pricing, so customers there will have to pay full price.
Meanwhile, because of ongoing antitrust litigation in the European Union (EU), customers there can't even purchase Upgrade versions of Windows 7, at least through the end of the year. (Microsoft isn't sure.) Until then, users there will be able to purchase the Full versions of Windows 7 at Upgrade prices. This seems like a good deal until you realize that these versions are incapable of upgrading existing PCs to the new OS.
Instead, customers will have to "clean install" the OS, which requires them to wipe out or otherwise ignore their existing Windows install.

But back to those questions I mentioned. There are a lot of them. In the wake of the announcement, I fired off almost a dozen questions to Microsoft's PR firm in an attempt to clarify what was going on. So far, I've received contradictory and incomplete answers to some questions and no answers to others. A few of the more pertinent questions include:

Q: Do the retail versions of Windows 7 include 32-bit or 64-bit Setup discs, or are there separate packages as there were for Vista?

A: The retail versions of Windows 7 (which include Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) come with two separate Setup discs, one of which is 32-bit and one that is 64-bit.

Q: Can I buy an electronic version of Windows 7, download it, and burn it to DVD?

A: Yes, but only from the online Microsoft Store.

Q: Is that version 32-bit or 64-bit?

A: I'm told you'll get the choice when you download, but of course the downloads won't be ready until October 22, 2009.

Q: Can I use the same product key to install a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on one PC and a 64-bit version on another?

A: No. The product key will be tied to the first PC on which you activate.

Q: What are the virtualization rights for Windows 7? (That is, which versions are licensed for installation in virtual machines by consumers?)

A: I don't know. I'm still waiting for the answer to that question.

Q: Can I perform a clean (full) install of Windows 7 with the Upgrade media?

A: Microsoft says yes.

Q: Does a version of Windows have to already be installed on the PC in that case?

A: I don't know. I'm still waiting for the answer to that question and/or actual Upgrade media for testing.

Q: Does that clean install with Upgrade media require the same hokey and time-consuming "double install" method that was required with Vista Upgrade media?

A: I don't know. I'm still waiting for the answer to that question, but I believe it will work as it does with Windows Vista.

Q: It seems like people who spent extra on Vista Ultimate should be rewarded in some way, since that product never lived up to Microsoft's promises. Why is there no promotional pricing on Windows 7 Ultimate, especially for Vista Ultimate users?

A: I don't know. (And I agree with you.)

Q: I have Windows Vista Home Premium. Do I have to get Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, or can I purchase any Windows 7 Upgrade version?

A: As long as you qualify for Upgrade pricing (i.e., have basically any version of Windows XP or Vista), you can purchase and install any Windows 7 Upgrade version. However, you may or may not be able to perform an in-place upgrade, depending on your current Windows version.
A person with Windows Vista Ultimate, for example, qualifies for Windows 7 Home Premium. But that person would have to perform a clean install.

Q: What is the pricing for Windows Anytime Upgrade (the electronic upgrades that let you go from one Windows 7 product edition to another?)?

A: Microsoft has not yet announced WUA pricing, sorry.

Q: Is Microsoft ever going to provide easy and cheap multi-PC licensing for Windows 7 (similar to Apple's Mac OS X Family Pack pricing)?

A: I've been told that Microsoft is aware of this need and is examining doing so for Windows 7. Note, however, that I was told the same for Vista and it never happened.

Q: Can I buy a retail version of Windows 7 Starter and install it on my own PC?

A: Apparently not.

Q: What happened to Windows 7 Home Basic?

A: With Windows 7, the Home Basic version is only being sold in emerging markets.

Q: How could Microsoft not have thought to clearly answer these questions in advance?

A: You're so cute. Here, let me muss up your hair. Better?

But seriously, folks, I do wonder about that. How an announcement aimed at clarifying pricing could unleash such a wave of unanswered questions is beyond me.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jun 2009 @ 14:31

Main PC ~ Intel C2Q Q6600 (G0 Stepping)/Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/2GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500/Zalman CNPS9700/Antec 900/Corsair HX 620W
Network ~ DD-WRT ~ 2node WDS-WPA2/AES ~ Buffalo WHR-G54S. 3node WPA2/AES ~ WRT54GS v6 (inc. WEP BSSID), WRT54G v2, WRT54G2 v1. *** Forum Rules ***

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive