updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue June 2, 2009
Windows 7 October 22nd
Microsoft today ended speculation and said it would ship Windows 7 on October 22nd. The launch applies to all versions and confirms statements from Acer that it would have the new OS preloaded on its PCs just a day later. Pricing for individual upgrade and full installs hasn't been mentioned.
Although it repeatedly denied its release target until last month, Microsoft has been on a hastened release schedule focused on shipping Windows 7 in time for holidays. It faces pressure both from its immediate competitor Apple's upcoming release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard as well as from itself; reluctance to adopt Vista, particularly in business, as well as the poor performance of Vista on netbooks have both left the company continuing to offer Windows XP.
The new release runs much more efficiently on low-end hardware and also introduces a simplified Windows taskbar, a new Aero Peek interface for previewing and switching apps, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 11 and several other features. Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows also get an XP Mode that runs older apps in a virtualization when they wouldn't otherwise run in Windows 7.