Three weeks ago, Acer let slip some pretty strong hints about Windows 7's release schedule, saying it would release an all-in-one desktop based on the OS on October 23. Today, Paul Thurrott of the SuperSite for Windows has also revealed a release date while discussing another topic.
Thurrott states plainly in his review of the Windows 7 release candidate, "You'll be able to get the final version of Windows 7 publicly on October 15, 2009, according to the current schedule. . . . Mark your calendar." That statement leaves room for Microsoft to move things around, although coupled with the Acer slip-up, it certainly makes a mid- to late-October launch sound that much likelier.
Microsoft itself hasn't been anywhere near that specific when talking about release dates. Previously, the official line was that Windows 7 would come within three years of Windows Vista's general availability date—so, by the end of January 2010. A few days ago, however, the software maker confirmed that Windows 7 will be out "in time for the holiday shopping season." Windows Server 2008 R2 should come out in the same time frame, as well.