October 22, that's the date Windows 7 will hit retail shelves and start being sold on new PCs around the world. While the code will go RTM and be released on MSDN, Technet and undoubtedly every torrent site and warez newsgroup before that date, October 22 will be the first time "normal" people will have a chance to get their hands on the new operating system.
But, do you want to be the first on the block to get a nice shiny boxed up copy of Windows 7? Well, you're going to have to catch a flight to the land down under to do it. Microsoft has confirmed to ZDNet that due to the International Date Line, New Zealand will be the first country in the world where Windows 7 will be widely available.
"Our understanding at this time is that the availability of Windows 7 will 'follow the sun' on Thursday October 22," a Microsoft spokesperson said late yesterday. "As such, we're excited that the first retail sales globally of Windows 7 will take place in New Zealand and Australia as we cross the dateline ahead of other markets."
Still no official word on how much a retail copy of Windows 7 is going to set you back. But if you want to be first, you should plan to tack on at least $2362 USD, the current price for an October round trip ticket on United Airlines from Los Angeles to New Zealand. Your price and mileage may vary.