Microsoft confirms Windows 7 launch date

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Microsoft confirms Windows 7 launch date

Microsoft has confirmed that the official release date for the new Windows 7 operating system will be October 22nd.

In an announcement on the company's Windows blog Brandon LeBlanc, Windows communications manager said that the launch date was now set and the compnay would begin selling the new operating system earlier than the previously announced date of 2010.

Final code development will be finished this month and manufacturers will start getting the code next month he said, at which point Windows Server 2008 should also be ready.

“Release To Manufacturing (RTM) is an important milestone,” he wrote.

“We anticipate that we’ll be able to make the RTM code for Windows 7 available to our partners sometime in the 2nd half of July. We also expect to be able to make RTM code for Windows Server 2008 R2 available to our partners in this time frame as well.”

The release will mean the operating system will be in place in time for the crucial Christmas shopping period, when hardware sales are strongest. The company is also instituting a scheme to ensure sales don't die off in the meantime called Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program.

Under the scheme, which is still being finalised, users who buy a computer with Windows Vista Home Premium, or a more expensive flavour of the operating system, will get a free upgrade to Windows 7.

Microsoft should avoid the problems the similar campaign caused because Windows 7 shouldn't need a major hardware upgrade over existing systems.

The new operating system was as a beta in January and has had largely positive reviews.

Window 7 took Microsoft a little under three years to develop, in contrast to Vista, which took five years and has been unpopular with buyers.

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