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Windows 7 To Ship Oct. 22

Windows Vista's term as Microsoft's consumer operating system will end this fall: The company announced yesterday that Vista's replacement, Windows 7, will arrive in stores and on new computers on Oct. 22, 996 days after Vista's retail debut.

That's a little earlier than I had expected when the Redmond, Wash., firm announced last month that it planned to ship 7 "in time for the holiday shopping season," but it's only a day off from the Oct. 23 ship date that some tech-news sites had forecast. Microsoft also said it expects to release the finished Windows 7 code to PC manufacturers in the second half of July, which should give them a solid three months to iron out any hardware-compatibility glitches. (Then again, PC makers had almost that long between Vista's Nov. 8, 2006 "release to manufacturing" and its Jan. 30, 2007 retail debut, and look how well that turned out.)

Microsoft says Windows 7 will bring a more flexible user interface that offers more ways to arrange files and navigate around open windows, fewer interruptions, a less intrusive User Account Control security system, upgraded media-sharing features and other performance and reliability improvements. For a quick overview of those changes, see my assessment of the public preview release of 7 that Microsoft offered earlier this year.

Yesterday's news, however, leaves 7's pricing up in the air. The most concrete hint Microsoft offered came in a post on its Windows 7 Team Blog, which noted that at some point in the coming weeks, buyers of new PCs will become eligible for a discounted upgrade:

Soon, customers will be able to take advantage of 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. I'll be doing another blog post about this program with a date and more details when we get closer to availability.

("OEM" stands for "original equipment manufacturer," which is a longwinded way of saying "PC vendor.")

Since 7's price remains a mystery, you might as well suggest what you'd like it to be. What would you consider a fair upgrade price if, say, you've run Vista for the last year? What if you buy a new computer a month from now? What if you'd be jumping from XP straight to 7? Post your thoughts in the comments....

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 3, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Windows  
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Comments

I'm unsure what I'd be willing to pay -- maybe up to ~$75 as an upgrade. Just bought a laptop 2 weeks ago with XP pro preinstalled on it, thanks to that option provided by ToshibaDirect, so I really don't think I'm needing to jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon at all yet. I hope allows a user to make the jump from XP pro to 7 without too many nightmares, but I'll let others sort that out!

Posted by: rjrjj | June 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

My dad would be willing to pay at least $100 to replace Vista with something that actually works properly. My own machine is running WinXP just fine and is a bit too old to upgrade, so I'll wait until I get a new computer.

Posted by: bokamba | June 3, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

But what is the likelihood that Windows 7 actually works properly?

Posted by: ah___ | June 3, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Knowing Microsoft, they will charge for an upgrade, but really ... They are the ones that released a product that never worked well in the first place. I resent having to pay to "fix" their mistakes, but I'll do it eventually just to get rid of Vista. I bet that is what they are counting on.

I bought a laptop with Vista on it in 2007, since then, our next three computers always had XP. Any computers with Vista were immediately eliminated from consideration.

Posted by: KBM64 | June 3, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

An October 22 release includes the Halloween shopping season.
How's that for giving you a cold chill?
Bwahaha!

Posted by: baldricbear | June 4, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Some years back, I had a 486 that ran DOS7 and Win 95. When Win 98 came out, I put that on the 486 and while a bit slow, it seemed to work OK. I would later put Win 98 on a Pentium 1, which seemed to work fine.

4 years ago, I got a Pentium 4 that had Win XP Home on it, but my Real Estate Company decided to put a Corporate Edition of Win XP Pro on it. After a year of so, out came Genuine Windows Verification and it seemed that the corporate edition 'somehow' had exceeded its number of authorizations. I was advised that I could purchase a 'Genuine Update' for $155 without a disk, Since then, since Vista was also being released, it was suggested that I do nothing except disable automatic updates on the install side.

To effectively use either Vista or Win 6, I would have to probably rebuild my machine, or buy another one and considering the news that we are still in the middle of a serious recession, funds are precious -- so I will likely continue to use XP Pro.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | June 4, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

When does Snow Leopard come out?

Posted by: ilikeike | June 4, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Bruce:
Your Pentium 4 will in all likelihood not have enough under the hood to run Vista or Win7, which has essentially the same hardware requirements. No point in thinking about rebuilding it. Buy a new one after Win7 comes out and has been reviewed.

Since your real estate company evidently exceeded the number of allowable licenses for their enterprise edition when they overwrote your licensed copy of XP Home, they should be on the hook for getting you a working "genuine" copy of XP Pro.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | June 4, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I concur with KBM64. We bought an Acer computer last year, pre-loaded with Vista. The problems we immediate & obvious- and now we are expected to pay in order to replace a system that was admittedly flawed when it was issued. It is a nice $$ making ploy, but strikes me as not really ethical.

Posted by: sforstenzer | June 5, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I really don't understand all the negative comments that I've seen about the Vista operating system. I've been using it for over a year on both a Dell desktop and a Dell notebook, and "I LOVE IT!" I will definitely upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out, but I would like the upgrade price to be less than $50.

Posted by: Cyclops4real | June 5, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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