updated 12:05 pm EST, Wed February 25, 2009
Compal on Win 7 in Sept
Microsoft could have Windows 7 on shipping PCs by September, Compal president Ray Chen said today at an investor's conference. The PC contractor executive understands from plans that the software should be available in either late September or early October. The news would corroborate word of an April release candidate that would let Microsoft finish, manufacture and deliver Windows 7 well ahead of the holidays.
Compal builds systems on behalf of Acer, HP and other major PC makers.
Amelia Agrawal, a spokeswoman for Microsoft, maintains the official company position that Windows 7 will be available within three years of when Vista shipped. However, the company's upgrade program plans and other leaks have increasingly suggested that the public goal, which would put the release in early 2010, is deliberately conservative and meant to avoid embarrassment in the event of an unexpected delay. Microsoft has acknowledged a shortened development track that includes just one public beta and one readily available release candidate before the ship date.
While Windows 7 itself has proven stable in testing, the company is believed under significant pressure to release it this year. One of the first significant declines in Windows revenue surfaced in Microsoft's most recent financial quarter as continued hesitation over Vista as well as a preference for Windows XP in netbooks have both hurt the company's core business. Windows 7 improves both performance and user interface elements, and is explicitly designed to run more smoothly on netbook-level hardware.