Cnet has come up with a report saying that Microsoft is set to release Windows 7 by the end of this year's holiday shopping season based on PC industry sources in Asia and the U.S. According to the ZDNet Taiwan site, Taiwan hardware vendors are certain about Windows 7's final official release in 2009.
As pointed out by some computer manufacturers, the official version of Windows 7 will be available ahead of the planned schedule, that is before October this year. The English version of the OS will be available to system operators in August, and the Chinese version in October. Microsoft will officially pre-market Windows 7 now by labeling Windows Vista computers with Windows 7 ready stickers.
Even though Microsoft has denied any such rumors on an early release, it still sticks to its original schedule of Windows 7 official release, which is January 2010. Hardware vendors interpret that Microsoft does not want Windows 7 listed ahead of the schedule due to the economy downturn.
Microsoft's senior VP Bill Veghte cautioned in CES 2009 that the release still could be pushed into 2010, depending on customer feedback. Microsoft will ship Windows 7 when the quality is right, and earlier is always better, but not at the cost of ecosystem support and not at the cost of quality.
Microsoft has already said that there is no Windows 7 beta anymore and will go ahead with the RC build for Windows 7. Microsoft stopped offering the Windows 7 beta downloads this week. According to an official hint we could be seeing the Windows 7 RC build in early April but nothing has been confirmed yet. And not to forget that the company is also planning on allowing users who purchase new PC/laptop hardware (with Vista) from 1st July 2009 onwards, a free upgrade to Windows 7.