Feb 26

Microsoft may ship Windows 7 on PCs by September, said Compal president Ray Chen at an investor’s conference.  Compal builds personal computers for Acer, HP and other major PC vendors.  The news matches rumors that Microsoft hopes to release Windows 7 well ahead of the holidays.  This would give Microsoft some time to hopefully iron out some of the initial bugs and avoid the major embarrassment it saw with people downgrading back to XP because Vista simply wouldn’t work.

Microsoft spokeswoman Amelia Agrawal maintains the company’s official position that Windows 7 will ship within three years of Vista, which means by early 2010.  This estimate is presumably conservative to avoid embarrassment in the event of an unexpected delay, as happened repeatedly with Vista, which shipped more than two years after its original scheduled date.  Microsoft has acknowledged an expedited testing phase for Windows 7 that includes just one public beta and one release candidate before shipping.  But so far Windows 7 has been relatively stable in testing.

Microsoft is under significant pressure to release Windows 7 this year to offset the first significant declines in Windows revenue in Microsoft’s history.  These declines are the result of the global recession, plus continued reluctance by both consumers and enterprises to adopt Windows Vista.  Windows 7 is said to improve the user interface and performance, especially on hardware with more modest specifications.

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Article published on February 26, 2009

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