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Windows 7 in September?

It makes sense if you think about it. It might even make sense if you don't. That's why we're prone to believe the rumor that Windows 7 could arrive as early as September.

This week, an executive at an OEM in Taipei dropped the mega-hint that the final version Windows 7 might not wait until December or January to come bursting out of the womb. Ray Chen of Compal Electronics is talking about Microsoft releasing the magnificent 7 this fall, maybe in September or October.

There are a lot of reasons that this could be true. First of all, OEMs usually know about this stuff before anybody else does for reasons we hope are obvious. Second, as Redmond magazine details in its March cover story, Windows 7 already looks very stable and impressive in beta form, although we're also careful to note that not everybody is raving about the forthcoming OS.

Beyond all that, getting users' minds off of Vista seems to be a priority for Microsoft (although Redmond still tows the questionably credible line that it's better to "upgrade" to Vista before moving to 7) and there's no better way to do that than to release a brand-new, whiz-bang OS ahead of schedule. Plus, a September release would get Windows 7 into consumers' hands by the all-important holiday shopping season, which might help give a kick-start to what's expected to be a sluggish PC market this year.

Of course, for enterprise partners, timing isn't everything. Chances are that clients aren't moving to Vista, and companies likely won't go rushing out to implement Windows 7 the day it hits the shelves. Besides, it's consulting and integration revenue that really matters, not so much OS sales, which are mostly tied to purchases of new PCs.

Still, Microsoft's financial health does matter to partners because more revenue means more investment in products and in the Partner Program. And Redmond, like many companies in the industry, could use a little jolt right now. What's more, it wouldn't hurt Microsoft to smooth over some of the rough feelings it caused with the debacle that was Vista. A successful Windows 7 released early could have a feel-good effect among customers, which could trickle down into revenues for partners.

Of course, this is all just the product of a rumor, but it's a rumor that we're inclined -- and would like -- to believe. Stay tuned.

How excited would you be by a September release of Windows 7? Have your say at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on February 26, 2009 at 11:55 AM


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