Officially, Microsoft has remained tight-lipped about Windows 7's release date, even refusing to commit to a holiday launch. In closed quarters, however, the release date may well be a certainty.
Acer UK executive Bobby Watkins spilled the beans to Pocket-Lint in a pretty unambiguous manner. He stated, "23rd October is the date the Windows 7 will be available. There is a 30 day upgrade time so that customers don't wait to buy a new computer, so if you buy during that 30 day period, you'll get a free upgrade to Windows 7."
The same executive also noted that Acer is prepping a Z5600 all-in-one PC specifically designed for the new operating system. The PC maker plans to starts shipments in September so the machine can be "in stores for people to 'touch and feel.'"
What does Acer Europe VP Massimo D'Angelo have to say about this premature announcement? According to ZDNet, D'Angelo said the Z5600 will be in stores "using Windows 7 technology" in late September. When asked if he'd inadvertently revealed the Windows 7 launch schedule, D'Angelo added that the system "would go on sale on the 23rd of October 'and not a day before'."
HP also mentioned an October launch time frame for the new operating system a few weeks ago, so Acer's October 23 date is probably right on the money. If that's the case, Microsoft will have about five and a half months to get things ready after the public RC release.