Report: Windows 7 is on track for a holiday launch

Officially, Microsoft says Windows 7’s launch schedule could go either way: the new operating system may hit stores in time for the 2009 holiday season, or it may be postponed. However, CNet News has received word from “PC industry sources in Asia and the U.S.” that Windows 7 is definitely on track for a 2009 launch.

Microsoft Senior VP Bill Veghte told CNet back in January that the launch might still be postponed until 2010. He explained, “We will ship it when the quality is right, and earlier is always better, but not at the cost of ecosystem support and not at the cost of quality.” Considering the positive response to the Windows 7 beta and the short testing cycle, though, a launch in time for Christmas certainly doesn’t sound implausible.

If Windows 7 is coming in a matter of months, it follows that Microsoft needs a little something to keep Vista sales going. In this case, CNet says its sources claim Microsoft is “putting the finishing touches” on a step-up program that will let users upgrade to Windows 7 for free or at a heavy discount. Said program could start “as early as July.”

In a separate report, TechARP has posted a number of unofficial details regarding the program. Supposedly, the step-up scheme will let users upgrade from Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, and Vista Ultimate to the corresponding Windows 7 editions. It will start on July 1 and end on April 30, 2010, although the deadline for eligible systems will depend on when Windows 7 actually ships. As with the old XP step-up program, only folks who buy pre-built PCs with Vista systems in that time frame will be eligible for a free or discounted upgrade.

Comments closed
    • My Johnson
    • 11 years ago

    Hopefully I’ll have the cash by that time to buy the wife a Dell Studio PC and I can then use her copy of XP on my 2000 desktop.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    #70, ah, ok, I did not exactly mean it that way. I meant that the OS /is/ getting better all the time. For the neophytes that are always craving the latest and greatest (there seem to be a few of those around here who jumped to Vista the day it released or even in RC stages), frequent releases may well be a selling point. For those that want a stable, less frequent update schedule, grab one of the LTS releases.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    #69, I won’t speak for Meadows, but frankly, as a home user and support manager for around 700 corporate users, I find zero value in an OS whose major selling point is the number of releases or frequent releases. I actually liked the fact that XP was stable and improved over several years–it makes planning and implementation much easier. I see no reason to change OSes every other year, let alone whenever Canonical feels like they need some more press over at /.

    That’s one of the OSC’s biggest problems in my view; the sheer number of distros and changes that are released make it very difficult to achieve a baseline standard in practical use, unless you decide to use a kernel that is officially obsoleted and doesn’t receive kernel updates (thinking of several RH Enterprise versions at the moment).

    Lots of releases != selling point

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed.

      However, the reality of the situation is operating system makers drop support for older OS’s, and since we as corporate slaves like support, we must eventually move on.

      Where I work we’ll be skipping Vista entirely and waiting until 7 SP1. We’ll probably be making the jump from 32-bit to 64-bit at the same time (on the client, servers have been there for yearsg{<.<}g)

    • JokerCPoC
    • 11 years ago

    No upgrade path from XP/XP x64? Sounds pretty stupid, I might buy Win7 as an upgrade, But buy the Vista x64 upgrade just to upgrade to Win7 x64? MS is nuts and has real balls if that’s what their asking for in this economy. ;p

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Is backing up your files really that much of an imposition. You could pay someone to do it for less than the cost of a vista upgrade. You can still buy and install the upgrade version of Win7, you just do an upgrade installation.

    • rogelio
    • 11 years ago

    quick question – does win7 beta use NTFS or some other (new) file system?

      • ClickClick5
      • 11 years ago

      NTFS. I’m still waiting on a “new” system.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        There’s not a lot of reason to adopt a new filesystem. WinFS was a metadatabase atop NTFS, not a new filesystem (despite its name and the misunderstandings it induced in a lot of people). There are some tweaks in Win7 to make NTFS recognize and work optimally with SSDs, but that’s about it.

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          Isn’t 2TiB limit with NTFS a problem? IIRC, GPT volumes are not bootable.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            GPT disks are bootable from EFI systems, which in practice means x64 versions of Server 2K8, Vista SP1+, and Win 7. And Itanium of course.

            But a new partition table (GPT) doesn’t require or imply a new file system (though I guess we can debate the definition of a “file system”). I suppose when a lot of people are bumping up against the 256TB limit in NTFS we’ll need something new (it’s actually worse than that, since the limit is 16TB with the default 4K clusters). But again, stretching limits doesn’t constitute a new file system the way, say, changing the underlying data structures would. At least to me.

    • TheBob!
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t get all the arguing. Up until XP new versions of Windows came about every 2 years so why would they give 7 away cheaply to Vista users? Vista had issues out of the gate, but it is a solid OS now. Anyone that thinks otherwise doesn’t honestly use it every day.

      • adam1378
      • 11 years ago

      I like Longhorn over XP….I also prefer the new model of Chevy Silverado over the last model.

      • jstern
      • 11 years ago

      Plus the reason as to why Microsoft took so long to come out with a new OS was because they found some major security issues that needed major attention from the people who were developing their next OS.

      • sigher
      • 11 years ago

      Obviously w7 is a tweaked vista, and since people paid for vista they should get the fixes/tweaks free, makes sense to me, but then; I don’t have MS stock.

        • jstern
        • 11 years ago

        I suppossed those Windows 95 owner should have gotten those Windows 98 tweaks for free, and those Windows 98 owners should have gotten those Windows 2000 tweaks for free. Vista works flawlessly, people who bought it years ago should not get anything for free because of FUD. You would make a horrible businessman, similar to those people who say that Nintendo should lower the cost of the Wii, when they are currently selling them at a faster rate than they can produce them.

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 11 years ago

    They’ve still got a few issues to work out with stability with Windows 7, sure for the average user its stable, but running a system at its edge, (Overclocks on RAM, CPU, and GPU) at 100% capacity (Folding both CPU and GPU) my computer will mysteriously crash if I leave it alone for a few hours like this (No its not just hibernate, when I boot back up I get the standard “Windows experienced an error and had to shut down. Would you like to start in safe mode….”)

    And I’ve check the system reports, its not folding that’s crashing.

    The same system can run for a week in Vista without crashing.

    Otherwise I like 7 a fair bit more than Vista and I find Vista to be perfectly fine by itself.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      With all due respect, I’d try different hardware settings because obviously your computer’s “edge” is bleeding.
      Maybe the OS is to blame, but what if your issues remain in the final version of Windows 7? That’ll mean your settings are too hot.

        • Saber Cherry
        • 11 years ago

        If a computer eventually encounters mysterious problems while running at 100% load with all components clocked beyond the manufacturer’s specifications, it is clearly caused by a broken OS. Didn’t you get the memo?

        @Mr. Bleeding Edge: More seriously – maybe, just maybe, your computer is generating errors all the time but the new OS is actually detecting them instead of ignoring them, or crashing due to assertion violations for correct assertions that assume working hardware, which you probably don’t have.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          He did say it works flawlessly with Vista, so it could be anything at this point.

            • Saber Cherry
            • 11 years ago

            It could. It could also be due to W7 using different memory pattens and writing important data to an intermittent bad bit that is bad regardless of clockspeed. Without knowing how the stability is when clocked normally, it’s hard to say. But my bets right now are on W7 just reacting differently to hardware errors caused by overclocking, or being more reluctant to downthrottle when overheating, since this is a classic sign of hardware failure during a stress test.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Curiously enough, the same problems surfaced with Vista back in the day, as people whose computers were “rock solid” at bleeding edge performance levels started to crash in Vista for reasons not immediately apparent. Of course by their standards, you then go ahead and blame Vista.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Could be a driver issue. Could be debug code in W7 that’s asserting rather than being correctly ignored or incorrectly silently failing in Vista. Could be you got lucky with Vista, and there’s a timing issue that bites you with Win7. Doesn’t mean one is inferior to the other; it could easily have come out the other way (in which case you might not even have noticed you have more “headroom” under Win7). Could be there’s a latent crash / data corruption waiting for you in Vista and you just haven’t hit it yet.

        • sigher
        • 11 years ago

        Most definitely could be a driver issue, we all know nvidia and ATI both can’t write a decent driver and you have to try 12 of them before you hit a stable one, and since there aren’t 12 drivers to choose from for W7..

    • ilkhan
    • 11 years ago

    How is this a surprise?
    Its nearly release ready right now, as far as I can tell. It’s been my primary OS for more than a month, Id never go back to Vista, just as I said more than a year ago Id never go back to XP.

    • Austin
    • 11 years ago

    l[<:o(<]l It's a shame it seems all those people being lumbered with Vista Home Basic will not get an upgrade path, poor suckers deserve a free upgrade IMHO. Too many system makers (in the UK) are sticking Vista Home Basic on their PC's and laptops, anything to save a few notes and still use the 'Vista' stamp.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Note that the TechARP article is describing the *[

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    The companies on software assurance with Microsoft get a “free” upgrade from Vista (assuming they even took Vista in the first place). Of course the long interval between XP and Vista meant they got “nothing” for their money on the client side for several years (though most of them wouldn’t upgrade more frequently than ~4 years anyway, even if depreciation schedules allowed them to) so getting a new OS in a relatively short time frame just balances that out.

    For consumers, it’s an interesting question how MS would actually implement a lower-cost upgrade from Vista than from XP (or any other OS). They obviously have the activation data, so they can verify you had Vista rather than XP, but that’s /[

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      From the rumors I heard, the Upgrade version of Win7 will only work as an Upgrade from Vista, not XP or below. That makes sense to me.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Could be. I tend to focus on the technologies and not whatever marketing-dictated bags they get shoveled into.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    I installed Ubuntu about two months ago and I have come to the conclusion that I’ll never need or want Windows 7.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Windows Xp, perhaps. But one would only come to that conclusion after trying /[

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 11 years ago

        Hmm, I’ll use both and own windows 7…

        • happyxix
        • 11 years ago

        eww KDE. Gnome ftw

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          Xfce rocks your mousey socks off.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      So I take it you don’t like PC gaming?

        • ClickClick5
        • 11 years ago

        Or simple installation packages that do not require self input code?

          • flip-mode
          • 11 years ago

          Simple installers are wonderful, but esoteric installers can be entertaining and rewarding. Think of installing software on Linux as an alternative to playing some sort of mental challenge game.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            …right.

            • flip-mode
            • 11 years ago

            They can also be extremely frustrating. Happy now? None the less, right now I have ZERO desire to move to Windows 7, and by the time Windows 8 comes around, not only will Ubuntu have had 6 releases during the same period, but I will also be a much more experienced user.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Yes, because the number of releases clearly reflects the amounts of improvements and fixes.

            • flip-mode
            • 11 years ago

            What point are you making Meadows?

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            That you can get the same effect if you make “releases” less often and instead patch what you have and keep it up to snuff.

            • flip-mode
            • 11 years ago

            OK, you can do that with Linux too.

          • Lazier_Said
          • 11 years ago

          “Or simple installation packages that do not require self input code?”

          … and then demand the original installer package – which you deleted two years ago by now – to uninstall.

          One click install is great when it works. Crossing your fingers with Windows Install Clean Up is not so great.

        • flip-mode
        • 11 years ago

        Gaming and Turbo Tax are the only things I’d need Windows for. I barely have any time to play games though, which is frustrating, and I also don’t like shelling out $50 for new titles, and I hate waiting a year or two for the price to come down. So I like gaming, but the pursuit is problematic.

        I have Vista, and I have XP. Those should get me by, gaming wise, for the foreseeable future.

          • Tamale
          • 11 years ago

          you can use taxact online for free ๐Ÿ™‚

            • flip-mode
            • 11 years ago

            nice! thanks.

    • bdwilcox
    • 11 years ago

    *[

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like all the early adopters of Vista are being screwed.
    *cough* Like that wasn’t obvious from day one. *cough*

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Why? What’s so bad about Vista?

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      No, Vista users going to get SP2, which I believe will come out before 7 RTM.

      Windows 7 is “Vista SP2” rebranded and repackaged to those who were either on the fence or bought into the senseless anti-Vista FUD.

        • leor
        • 11 years ago

        yeah? what is windows 7 bringing to the table that’s actually new OS worthy besides fixing the broken vista stuff?

        when have you ever heard of a new OS actually having lower system requirements than the previous one?

          • Xenolith
          • 11 years ago

          There’s a new Windows Paint!

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          – Direct2D
          ยง[<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd370987(VS.85).aspx<]ยง ยง[<http://blogs.technet.com/thomasolsen/archive/2008/10/29/introducing-the-microsoft-direct2d-api.aspx<]ยง - DirectWrite ยง[<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd371554(VS.85).aspx<]ยง ยง[<http://www.neowin.net/news/live/08/10/29/direct-2d-and-directwrite-demos<]ยง - Scenic Animation ยง[<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd371987(VS.85).aspx<]ยง ยง[<http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/yochay/Windows-Scenic-Animation-Overview/<]ยง - Scenic Ribbon (if you hate the latest Office UI, you're going to hate that every other app gets it for free if they want it) ยง[<http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/yochay/A-lap-around-Windows-7-new-Scenic-Ribbon/<]ยง ยง[<http://mschnlnine.vo.llnwd.net/d1/pdc08/DOCX/PC14.docx<]ยง Multitouch support, including gestures (in the base OS) ยง[<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms694980(VS.85).aspx<]ยง ยง[<http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/d/f/adf1347d-08dc-41a4-9084-623b1194d4b2/Win7_touch.docx<]ยง UI Automation ยง[<http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2008/11/30/accessibility-in-windows-7.aspx<]ยง - Heterogeneous multi-adapter (AKA running nVidia and AMD cards and drivers simultaneously) -- see below - Triggered services and other service enhancements ยง[<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd405513(VS.85).aspx<]ยง ยง[<http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/d/f/adf1347d-08dc-41a4-9084-623b1194d4b2/BackgroundProcs.docx<]ยง If you want to get a full sense of what's new, you might want to work your way though some of the presentations from last November's WinHEC ยง[<http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winhec/2008/pres.mspx<]ยง they're all in PPTX aka Powerpoint 2007 format, so if you need the viewer you can download it here ยง[<http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=048dc840-14e1-467d-8dca-19d2a8fd7485&displaylang=en<]ยง In particular, let me point you to "Display Driver Interface Changes for Windows 7" ยง[<http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/E/6/5E66B27B-988B-4F50-AF3A-C2FF1E62180F/GRA-T518_WH08.pptx<]ยง Which describes how the Desktop Window Manager will use significantly less system memory in Win7 than it used in Vista, and the delta increases the more windows are open. Around slide 35 or so it also covers (very superficially) heterogeneous graphics adaptors.

            • Krogoth
            • 11 years ago

            #1- a new version of Directdraw under a new name. XD

            #2- new version of MSN messenger, expect different name…….

            #3- more UI changes……

            #4 – more UI changes, expect OS X had this for a while……..

            #5 – meh

            #6 – More monitoring and auditing tools.

            #8 – Nice, but not a big deal for the majority of people.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            Since you completely missed on a couple of those, I take it you didn’t actually follow any of the links.

            • Krogoth
            • 11 years ago

            I did skim across those links.

            My point still holds on those new features are at heart.

            I also suspect that Vista SP2 and its next DirectX patch will incorporate most of them anyway.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            Krogoth can see through the pages’ technical gobbledygook with his visual cortex and see right to the heart. Need it boiled down to a few poorly-spelled, vaguely accurate phrases? Krogoth to the rescue.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            But at least he has a sense of humour.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Why would they need a new messenger when they’ve recently released a perfectly working one? Not to mention Live Messenger 2009 is faster, prettier and uses less resources (particularly less CPU) when compared to Live Messenger 8?

            Also, do you have any idea what the difference is between “except” and “expect”? I don’t just mean the “p” and “c” changing places.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t know how he thinks DirectWrite has something to do with Messenger; that’s one of the things I was noting when I said it was clear he didn’t follow any of the links.

            • Krogoth
            • 11 years ago

            Heh, I must have overlook something.

            Directwrite is just another refinement of fonts.

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          There are going to be a few new gimmicks here and there.

          There is a reason why I kept calling “7” as the next Windows 98.

          Vista RTM => Windows 95 (completely different departure code-wise from its predecessor, but had aching issues)
          Vista SP1 => Windows 95 OSR1 (fix some issues)
          Vista SP2 => Windows 95 OSR2 (fix some more aching issues)
          Windows 7 => Windows 98 (refined version of its “predecessor” with a different name)

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            Note you could substitute Windows 2000 for 95 and XP for 98 in your post (and XP’s SP2 for 98 SE). And at one time there were lots of people who didn’t see the point of upgrading to XP from 2K (or, if you were a gamer, moving to either one from 98)

          • FubbHead
          • 11 years ago

          From what I hear, this might just be one of those rare occasions. Which probably says more about Vista than about Win7.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            Yes. The DWM changes are a perfect example — the difference between smart/obvious optimizations and no optimizations. But that’s standard for software: first you make it work, then you make it fast. Of course the design matters the most, but you can design for optimizations and then not have time to go back and put them in (since they’re often special cases).

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 11 years ago

            Or Tick-Tock for Intel? First you make the architecture, then you shrink and tweak it to be the best it can be.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            Well, Intel is a lot more disciplined than MS is, but then hardware generally is lot more like engineering and software is more like artisanal handiwork (though the guys doing the real hard-core optimization at the lowest level of either one are more like alchemists of the dark arts). But in any software project there are always things you could do better if you had more time, or alternate approaches you realize might be worth exploring when you’re already partly done. And sometimes you can’t go back and tweak things because the QA resources won’t let you. So assuming you have time to revisit the code without a requirement to add new features you can almost always make it faster/use less memory/whatever.

        • StashTheVampede
        • 11 years ago

        Vista SP2 is required to be released in order to ship Windows7 — they share the same code base. Microsoft needs SP2 out, ASAP — Windows7 AND Windows 2008 server depend on it.

          • axeman
          • 11 years ago

          Wtf does that mean? “Required”? I’m pretty sure our Windows XP clients are equally happy running against Server 2008 and Server 2003. Now if you mean SP2 for Vista will upgrade some system components to be at version or feature level parity with Server 2008 and Windows 7, then sure.. But required? Uh… no…

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, like those users of Win2k were screwed over when XP came out the next year.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 11 years ago

        No, not really as XP offered no real benefit over 2k, was bloated, had drm, GUI looked like shit, etc.

        Although, Microsoft and other companies have been forcing 2k owners out of using their OS, by imposing artificial limitations like OS checks into programs and drivers.

      • burntham77
      • 11 years ago

      Early? Vista has been out for two years. By the time 7 hits, that’ll be three years (or more if delayed to 2010). Aside from XP, which had an unusually long run for a Windows OS, two to three years is fairly standard between Windows OS versions. No one got “screwed” here.

    • kccboy2004
    • 11 years ago

    Me too…

    I think that a Free Upgrade to W7 from Vista would bring a great deal of customer loyalty with it.

    I have tested tout W7 and own 2 Vista licenses that I bought in the last 6 months. Never did I dream that a successor to Vista would come so soon, and be so similar.

      • sigher
      • 11 years ago

      Haha, never dream it would be so similar and soon eh, subtle ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    A free or cheap upgrade from Vista to Win 7 would be a very good piece of marketing by MS.
    I’ve been happy with Vista but to those who aren’t this would be a nice move.

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Anyone who thinks Microsoft is going to give-away or discount this product is probably insane for even thinking about it. Win7 has tons of hype behind it and everyone is going to be rushing out to buy it. Why give something away when you don’t have to, especially when your a publicly traded corporation?!

        • ish718
        • 11 years ago
          • cygnus1
          • 11 years ago

          i think you misunderstand that program. With that program, you’re paying for Win7 before it’s done and getting the old and busted vista to use until Win 7 is done…

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        I think the hype is just that: hype.

        I tried 7, thought it was blazing, went back to a fresh Vista and couldn’t tell a whit of a difference performance wise.

        It was Vista Gold that everyone soured on. Vista SP1 is a fine OSg{<.<}g

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      There will be a “cheap” upgrade program. MS has done the same thing with each new version of Windows.

      • PeterD
      • 11 years ago

      Those who aren’t happy with Vista, won’t be much happier with W7.

        • MixedPower
        • 11 years ago

        They will. It’s called the placebo effect.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          Yes, though the “follower effect” will probably be a big factor too. The conventional wisdom is that Vista is bad, because a lot of early adopters had problems with it and they have a disproportionate effect on the perception of the product; SP1 was too little, too late. I’ve met people who have strong negative opinions of Vista who have never touched a machine running it. But that can work the other way too. Windows 7 already has a pretty good buzz going for it among early adopters, and as long as Microsoft doesn’t screw it up (which is by no means certain) that will work in its favor when it is introduced. In fact Vista’s somewhat unjust bad reputation might help Win7 if only because Vista set the bar so low.

        • sbarash
        • 11 years ago

        You’re wrong. They will be way happier. I sure am, I’ve updated all my systems.

        Why would you say they wouldn’t be? Are you running 7?

          • cygnus1
          • 11 years ago

          i had to go back to vista because of the problems with IE8 and WMP12. other than those two apps, and the new taskbar, i don’t think the average user will notice a big difference between vista and Win7

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            But since the vast majority of average users don’t even have Vista, they probably will notice a difference from XP.

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