It’s official: Microsoft’s brand new operating system, Windows 7, will be available to buy online and in shops from 22 October 2009.
While the original Release Candidate was posted to the Microsoft Developers Network and to TechNet subscribers for download on 30 April, followed by availability for the general public on 5 May, the date for General Availability (GA) was cautiously set to the holiday season 2009.
However, Microsoft employee Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a post on the official Windows 7 Team Blog: “Our milestone-to-milestone approach for Windows 7 is built on a great deal of feedback from customers and testers. This has been pivotal to the development of Windows 7.
“Since then, we’ve made enough progress to feel really good about announcing today that Windows 7 will be in stores beginning 22 October.”
For consumers buying a new PC before this release date, Microsoft has introduced the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program: “This program enables participating retailers and OEMs to offer a special deal to upgrade to Windows 7 for customers purchasing a qualifying PC,” LeBlanc said.
The Release To Manufacturing (RTM) date has also been announced; the RTM code for Windows 7 will be available to Microsoft partners sometime in the second half of July, with the same expected timeframe for Windows Server 2008 R2.