Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

Summary: Last month, I kicked off the Windows 7 release date prediction pool with my analysis on why I think Windows 7 will be released in time for the holiday buying season in 2009, picking July 29, 2009 as my entry. At the same time, I invited readers to add their guesses in the TalkBack section. This morning, I went back and tallied the vote so far. If you believe in the theory of crowdsourcing, the wisdom of the community should be able to predict this date more accurately than any individual. So, when will Windows 7 ship? The crowd has spoken. And the date is...


Last month, I kicked off the Windows 7 release date prediction pool with my analysis on why I think Windows 7 will be released in time for the holiday buying season in 2009, picking July 29, 2009 as my entry. At the same time, I invited readers to add their guesses in the TalkBack section.

This morning, I went back and tallied the vote so far. The rules were pretty simple: Enter the complete date – day, month, and year – when you believe Microsoft will officially issue its press release announcing the release to manufacturing of Windows 7.

Out of 169 TalkBack posts, I tallied 72 non-duplicated entries that met the official rules. Unsurprisingly, several threads quickly degenerated into mindless Microsoft bashing and off-topic discussions of other operating systems. (Yawn.) For the purposes of tallying, I threw out five entries whose dates were unrealistically early (August 2008? Put down that bong, sir...) or late (the most extreme example was one commenter who insisted that the ship date would be April 8, 2017).

Apparently, my analysis was persuasive, because 52 of the entries, about 70%, picked dates in 2009. Six diehard optimists believe that Windows 7 will ship in the first half of the year, before June 30; the remaining entries were fairly evenly distributed around the latter half of the year: 12 in July, 12 in August, 6 in September, 13 in October, and 3 in November.

Roughly 1 in 5 of you think Microsoft's track record of failed delivery dates means Windows 7 won't be ready till 2010, and 1 in 10 think the ship date will be in 2011.

If you believe in the theory of crowdsourcing, this community should be able to predict the actual release date more accurately than any individual. So what's the consensus? I entered the dates into an Excel worksheet and calculated the median, which works out to (drumroll, please...)

September 30, 2009

That's cutting it pretty closely for a holiday release, but it's certainly possible. Anyway, if that date turns out to be accurate, I'll tip my hat to all 72 of you.

Thanks for playing.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Wow! I'm part of the "in" crowd....

    I had October 6, 2009. Close enough for a cigar? ;-)
  • Tease

    After 5 years of Longhorn skirt lifting Vista was released
    and the world heaved a collective "ho hum". In a short 2
    years and 4 months, we can look forward to doing it again.
    The energy going into Vista promotion has been greatly
    diluted by both Vista itself, and this hot new "7" prospect.
    A single "wow" has been heard from the owner of an Ed
    Bott optimized Sony laptop, but precious little else.

    Windows has become a public transit bus.

    In this environment of lowered expectations, Microsoft
    announced it's "under promise/over deliver" policy.
    Unfortunately the very announcement of this kind of policy
    is self defeating. Going forward we can expect an
    announcement of a policy of fewer announcements.

    As a result of the shyness, blogs which depend on scraps
    from the grown-ups table of a single platform will be hard
    pressed for content and may have to rely more on user
    input, crowdsourcing, and forum slapfights. As we move
    towards what is clearly a multiplatform future, platform
    myopia will start to look like male cheerleading, with all
    the enthusiasm and none of the beauty.

    For the next 2 and a half years, embedded web 2.0 radio
    buttons will, be asking us which version of Windows least disappoints us.
    Harry Bardal
    • Thanks (nt)

      Ed Bott
    • What would we do without Harry's commentaries?

      It'd be like a day without rain. ;)

      Keep truckin' Harry.
      • good question

        [i]What would we do without Harry's commentaries?[/i]

        Good question. I really do enjoy reading them. I usually find myself getting a chuckle out of them and occasionally shaking my head... but I do enjoy them.
    • After Vista... would behoove MS to under-promise and over-deliver on the next Windows. Five years of hype so greatly inflated expectations that Vista would have had a hard time living up to them, even if things had run smoothly out of the gate (which they didn't).

      Don't know if MS (Vaporware Central)'s corporate culture is up to that, but now would not be a bad time to learn a new trick.
      John L. Ries
  • RE: Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

    I confess to being one of the 2011 crowd, I hope I'm wrong I think they have a lot of pressure to get this one out with the bad perception of Vista.
  • Date sounds a little too early

    It may well be what MS is shooting for, but release is likely to be delayed somewhat since MS management recently had an object lesson on what happens if you push a high profile product out the door before it's ready. I think Vista's troubles have sped up the timetable, but if this is to be a legitimate major release, it's going to take time to get things right.

    Spring, 2010.
    John L. Ries
    • Another possibility

      I don't really expect this, but if Vista continues to suffer and it looks like Windows 7 will take too long, they could put out a minor release (6.1) with the goals of improving performance, making life easier on users, adding some of the features promised for Vista, but postponed, and (most importantly) dumping the Vista name. I think they could get something out like that ready by the end of September, 2008 (if not sooner) without much trouble. They might even be able to get away with calling it "Windows 7", though I don't think it would be honest to do so.
      John L. Ries
  • No way it's going to be 2009.

    Oh, please, how in the world do you ever get 2009? I don't care how many people agree with you - with Microsoft saying it's 2010, and with their history of late releases, you'll be lucky to get it in 2011. There's absolutely no way it's going to be 2009.
    • I agree

      They will announce 2009, but alas, there will be delays.

      and delays

      and delays, eta
  • RE: Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

    I think the whole 2009 guessing game is just a far-fetched hope by those utterly disappointed by Vista. Remember, Windows 98 was orignally supposed to be Windows 97.. and Windows 2000 was originally supposed to be NT5, but with all the delays.. they were renamed.

    And let's not forget "Longhorn".. How many times did they delay this one? And how many promised features did they eventually cut out?..

    And think about this... It took Microsoft 5 years to get Vista out the door, and look what they delivered. What could they POSSIBLY do in the next year and a half, in time for "September 2009"?.. Does anyone really think they can build, and test an whole new operating system in this amount of time, AND make it so spectacular that it dwarfs Vista?

    The only "new" operating system MS will get out the door by September 2009 is Vista Service Pack 2. And even THAT I wouldn't count on...

  • RE: Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

    Well even if it ships in '09 who's to say it will be a fully functional/polished release? Our experience with WinMe and Vista clearly bears that out.
    • The difference

      WinMe was a last desperate money-grabbing grasp at an old platform. It was obsolete the day it was released. Vista was the first release in a new architecture. In that respect, it's a lot like Windows 95, a point I've made before:

      If my analysis in that post is correct, Win7 will be like Windows 98, in terms of polish and acceptance.
      Ed Bott
  • RE: Windows 7 ship date? The crowd has spoken...

    I've read somewhere that Windows7 will be completely rewritten from scratch and Microsoft won't be reusing much older code from 2000/XP/Vista. because they want to make a much more modular system then what they have today. It also needs to be much more secure then Vista but still backward compatible in some way, otherwise it will fail just as Vista.
    I think they will not have a finished product out before at least fall 2010, based on the five years period it took to develop Vista. It can take them even longer considering that Vista wasn't a completely(rewritten from scratch) new operating system, it was in fact partly based on older windows 2003 Server code that they already had available, mixed with other parts from XP.

    But if the development take to long time, people will not wait for it , most companies, governments and organizations are still running XP or 2000 and many of them might be considering a migration to Linux or Mac, when the support on XP expires. this is already starting to happen in some parts of the world.
    If they release windows 7 to soon and its as bug ridden as Vista was when it came out, they will loose even more costumers to there competitors.
    If however Windrows 7 will be just a minor upgrade from Vista, something comparable with win95 to win95c or WinXP to WinXPsp2, then it will be released a lot sooner. Its really to early to know right now.
    • You read wrong

      "I've read somewhere that Windows7 will be completely rewritten from scratch and Microsoft won't be reusing much older code from 2000/XP/Vista."

      Absolutely not true.

      Ed Bott
    • Windows 8 will be hopefully the one rewritten from scratch

      I don't think that Windows 7 will be rewritten from scratch but just be an optimised version of Vista.
      However Windows 8 must be a rewritten from scratch, 64 bits only O.S with a virtualisation layer for backward compatibility.
      This said,Windows 7 will have to be at later much faster and much more issue free than Vista otherwise the migration from Windows to alternative will significantly increase.
      • Why?

        I don't understand why people keep saying Windows needs an entire rewrite. I wonder if these people have ever worked on any large software project and if they realize how large and complicated an OS is. They've already started to refactor, modularize and improve Windows with Vista. Throwing everything away would be a very stupid idea considering there isn't anything wrong with the majority of the OS.
      • ofc it wil

        "Windows 7 will have to be at later much faster and much more issue free than Vista"

        Considering it is merely going to be a refresh with some only a handful of new features. It will be built arround vista so all the big fixes will be in and hard ware with be 3 years newer. So it will be all those things and more.
  • Ship it when it is ready, NOT when marketting says you must.

    I think they do want it in 2009. Not because Vista is terrible, but the pervasive perception that it is mediocre at best. They need the enterprise market, and honestly, few enterrpises are going to go through the full certification process with Vista when 7 is very soon to follow.

    That said, I think MS is probably throwing a LOT of resources at 7, and have muzzled a few middle/upper managers with the pie in the sky ideas and told the developers, do what you know how to do. That means speed, more secure, less focus on wizbang, more focus on solid. In an ideal world, they are starting with NO REGARD to backward compatibility, choosing instead to seamlessly virtualize Vista, XP and 2K into the completed OS. Let the VMs handle legacy, move forward with fundamentals. It separates all legacy code from the core OS.

    My guess, they want Sept 2009, but internally, if it really isn't ready, saner heads will prevail and Feb 2010. Simply put, MS can't afford to release a non ready product, the world will be beating on it ferociously, trying to see if a) it's another (perceived) Vista and b) it deliveres much more than XP.