Microsoft Sets A Date -- Make That, A Season -- For Windows 7
Those of you who have asked when they'll be able to buy a computer with Microsoft's Windows 7 installed instead of Windows Vista now have an answer: It should be home for the holidays. The company broke the news at a technology conference in Los Angeles yesterday, as outlined in a press release:
Microsoft Corp. announced that the company is anticipating that the next version of its client operating system, Windows 7, will be available to customers in time for the holiday shopping season.
That timetable isn't a huge surprise. Microsoft shipped a "release candidate" version of Windows 7 -- meaning one with all planned features operational and without serious known bugs -- at the end of last month. At the same time, computer vendor Acer let slip that it expected the new operating system to ship on October 23.
Microsoft's statements yesterday were less specific and did not rule out the possibility of Windows 7 shipping in 2010. But you have to believe that voices will be raised and chairs will be thrown if Windows 7 appears in danger of repeating Vista's trick of arriving two months after the peak holiday shopping season.
Will Windows 7 be worth the wait? Based on what I've seen of it so far -- not just in presumably-rigged product demos, but also in my own real-world testing on a couple of different systems -- I think it will represent a notable step up over Vista. Windows 7 should use less memory, throw up fewer annoying security prompts and make it a little simpler to keep your desktop in order.
At the same time, it will remain Windows as we've known it. You'll still have to choose between multiple editions with varying prices and features, you'll still have to accept automated enforcement of Microsoft's copyrights, and you'll still have to sit through tedious program installs and uninstalls.
You should also bear in mind that I am one of those nutjobs who, while not exactly a fan of Vista, doesn't think it's a crime against humanity and finds XP worse than it in some important ways.
That's where I'll turn it over to you: Take the poll below, then explain your vote in the comments.
May 12, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
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