Microsoft has finally confirmed what many of us had already suspected - that Windows 7 will ship is 2009. With both Microsoft and Apple releasing new operating systems in 2009, does this change your buying plans?
Note: Apple's Snow Leopard Mac OS 10.6 should be out sometime this summer.
As a rule, talk of a new operating system usually has a chilling effect on computer sales as buyers sit on their credit cards and wait for the new OS to appear. People do this because they want the latest OS on their new PC and don't want the hassle of upgrading. Adopting the wait and see approach also eliminates any hardware hassles that might happen.
This time around, the economy is already having a chilling effect on computer sales, so my prediction is that OEMs (and I include Apple in this category, since it has to accommodate for the release of Snow Leopard) will have a far tougher time than normal convincing people to buy PCs in the run up to the release of a new OS. While I'm sure that Microsoft will have a technology guarantee program in place where users who recently bought a new PC will be able to get their hands on the new OS for free (or a minimal charge), I still don't see this helping much.
One consolation for OEMs is that Windows 7 will be out this year, rather than next, so they will be able to leverage the holiday season. An early 2010 launch could have been disastrous for OEMs as many customers would have been put off buying a new PC loaded with the old OS.
My guess is that Windows 7 will go RTM July or August, and that it will hit retail channels a month later.
How does Windows 7 change your PC buying plans? And remember, it's not just PCs affected, but netbooks.