Windows 7: The delivery-date speculation continues

Windows 7: The delivery-date speculation continues

Summary: Over the past couple of days, I've noticed more new speculation about Microsoft's timetable for delivering Windows 7, the next version of Windows. Microsoft is saying publicly 2010 is still the likely RTM date, but late 2009 is undoubtedly a possibility.


Over the past couple of days, I've noticed more new speculation about Microsoft's timetable for delivering Windows 7, the next version of Windows.

Now, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' words are being parsed for hidden meanings. According to my colleague Ina Fried, Gates said this week during a speech before the Inter-American Development Bank: "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new (Windows) version."

Microsoft officials are insisting nothing has changed: Windows 7 is due out roughly three years after Windows Vista's consumer launch (which was January 2007), meaning in early 2010.

As I have mentioned before, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Softies actually deliver the final Windows 7 code in late 2009, given the current Windows Client team's emphasis on underpromising and overdelivering -- not to mention the self-imposed rule among the Windows folks that they should deliver a new Windows release every two years, alternating between "major" and "minor" updates. And given the fact that pushing out a new Windows release early in a new calendar year is not optimal for PC makers, who need final Windows code from Microsoft by late summer/early fall in order to preload a new operating system on holiday PCs, an early 2010 RTM date also seems wonky.

Remember, however, Microsoft still has yet to release a wide-scale test build of Windows 7. Milestone 1 of Windows 7 went to a limited set of testers in December 2007. I've heard mentions of Milestone 3 from a couple of folks recently. Windows client milestones are primarily internal builds that also go to a hand of OEM partners.

Beta 1 of Windows 7, last I heard from rogue tipsters, might hit in late fall at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. Typically, it takes Microsoft a minimum of a year to beta test a Windows client build. So, if Microsoft sticks to its usual way of operating, it's currently looking a very late 2009 delivery for Windows 7 at best.

Why do these nuances matter? It is in Microsoft's best interests right now, one could argue, to insure customers they shouldn't wait for Windows 7 and should go ahead and deploy Vista. If Windows 7 were to hit in mid-2009, a number of users (especially corporate ones) would likely just wait for the next Windows release, hoping that the driver and application incompatibilities that plagued Vista might get ironed out and that changes that might introduce new problems would be kept to a minimum.

Would you like to see another new version of Windows client in 2009?

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • 80% Vaporware

    Like Windows Vista, and Windows XP (on the beginning), Windows 7 will end up being 80% VAPORWARE.

    Most of the promised features will be MIA and if history repeats, it won't be remotely stable/usable until at least SP2 a few years later and the delivery date will be 2+ years later than claimed.
    • Vaporware ???

      Windows PC's run 90+% of the WORLDS Personal Computing use. Like it or not I hardly call that vaporware.
      • You missunderstand

        There was MANY features promised For XP and Vista that never saw the light of day. Thats what he means by 80% vaporware. Yes Windows itself is real, but MS consistently over promises and under delivers.
        • For instance....

          WinFS - The Windows File System that was supposed to be the "be all, end all" file system. Scrapped.

          Vista Ultimate Extras - The only thing that came out of Ultimate Extras was the ultimate extra cost to the consumer, and virtually nothing materialized.

          RedTrain65 - those are examples of "vaporware". They promise something and then the end product vaproizes.

          • A while two examples? With one being questionable?

            [i]"Vista Ultimate Extras - The only thing that came out of Ultimate Extras was the ultimate extra cost to the consumer, and virtually nothing materialized."[/i]

            Microsoft delivered Ultimate Extras. The feature wasn't pulled and is present.

            As for WinFS why do people continue to make a big deal about it being pulled? What capability was it going to give us that we don't have today?
          • RE:A while two examples

            [b][i]"As for WinFS why do people continue to make a big deal about it being pulled? What capability was it going to give us that we don't have today?"]/i][/b]

            A filesystem that doesn't need to be defrag, like the other OSes.
            Just stop and think some times "ye"...
          • every file system in existence

            fragments. Some operating systems defrag in the background, but the file system itself can never prevent fragmentation.
          • ah, but you forget....

            the "Zero" interface - the Vista Ultimate Extra nobody asked for.

            Not that it isn't cool... it's a sure cure for Mac Envy to look at your desktop folder icons and see little, tiny representations of the documents in them. But I'd rather MS had spent more time finding and fixing bugs prior to initial release of Vista.

            It is gratifying now that I'm running an updated version of Vista to see that I'm connected to the Internet a few seconds after my desktop screen comes up. It still takes a couple of minutes for EVERYTHING I use to start working after boot-up, but even that's a major improvement over Vista of last year.
      • Clueless guy ....

        #1- All software is considered vaporware until something is officially delivered. Once a beta or RC or even Alpha is delivered, that when it can't be called vaporware.

        #2- Duke Nukem exist. Yet the promised update is about 10 years late and it is the #1 vaporware of all times.

        #3- I wasn't talking about Win7 as the OS. I was talking about the never ending promised features that are never delivered or delivered 2 to 3 years later and you have to pay for them.
      • Yes, vapourware

        It's what people are saying, just Microsoft vapourware, trying to take the focus of the whole Vista debacle and get people starting to believe that Microsoft can actually deliver something worthwhile, or has some vision, or at least some basic use on the planet which it resides.

        The sheeple will "buy" into it.

        I can see it now "Windows 12, the future WOW starts now".
        • can't zdnet get a banhammer already?

          Enough of these repeat trolls.
      • likewise like it not

        but 90% are vaporusers :D
    • what do you know about it

      Are you on the design team.

      give it a rest pal
    • damned if they do, damned if they don't...

      If they don't tell people features they are working on for the next version of windows, people damn them because for not having time to prepare and being non-transparent, if they do tell people the features they're working on and they don't make it, everyone calls their software 'vaporware'. Personally I'd rather hear about features that MS is working on even if they don't make the final cut then be left in the dark for years. Being left in the dark for years makes no sense at all, they aren't doing any real harm to anyone by telling of features they're working on even if the features get cut from the final product. This idea that we'd be living in a blissful mac or linux world if MS just would stop making false promises is just another stupid fantasy from lifeless losers who have no programs/games so they spam forums and repeat idiotic arguments all day.
      • Looks like they're just "damned" then, don't it?

        D'ya think it could have a little bit to do with the fact that they've pretty well damned everybody else, already?
        Ole Man
      • What I don't get

        Is why they drop features that they do have. SP1 took away the Search item from the taskbar They had a requirement that apps for Vista need to work with DEP
        • ask google.

          that was their requirement.
        • My search item's still there....

          [pre]What I don't get is why they drop features that they do have.[/pre]
          [pre]SP1 took away the Search item from the taskbar[/pre]

          I'm running Vista Home Premium SP1 and my search item's right where it always was.
  • It'll be here when it gets here

    Rather than setting a false date that we know will get pushed back, why don't we just say to MS to make sure they get it right and release it then?
    Michael Kelly
    • Because SP2 takes a few years ;) (nt)