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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Release date is in line with previous reports, holiday-season ready

Windows 7 will indeed be hitting in time for the holiday season.  The much-buzzed about operating system is set to inherit the operating system throne from the much-maligned Windows Vista, with general commercial availability starting on October 22 according to a Microsoft press release aired today.

Previous reports had come quite close to pegging the release date, with October 23 being the cited date in many reports.  Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Microsoft's Windows, helped announced the true date, stating, "We feel confident that we will deliver Windows 7 with our partners on Oct. 22."

Microsoft faces tremendous pressure with the release.  The company has been hounded by its investors in recent months for revenue drops related to the recession.  These investors are quick to note that Windows Vista, while a solid seller, failed to surpass Windows XP.

Despite these problems, Vista and other Windows operating systems accounted for roughly 30 percent of the company's $60B USD in sales in 2008.  Windows-based operating systems are currently installed on approximately 90 percent of the world's personal computers. 

For Microsoft, the finalized release date represents both good news and bad.  The good news is it will make the lucrative holiday shopping season, a frequent time for people to buy new systems.  The bad news is that it will miss the equally lucrative back-to-school shopping season, where parents and college students typically purchase systems.

Microsoft does face some pressure, too -- Apple will be releasing its Snow Leopard OS sometime this summer or fall, and Google recently announced that its Android OS was coming to netbooks, courtesy of Acer.  The challenges, for now, though are limited -- Windows 7 will almost certainly lead these next generation operating systems in sales.

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RE: Yeah.
By Motley on 6/2/2009 4:53:18 PM , Rating: 1
Initially, I would say a terrible out of box experience. My nvidia based card defaulted to using the standard svga driver that performed absolutely horrid (1.0 on the windows experience benchmark!). It was a pretty standard card, the 8800GTX from evga. The audio drivers that installed themselves didn't work, again, pretty standard audio device -- the onboard audio on the Asus motherboard I have. Nvidia's drivers weren't "officially" available for something like 45 days after Vista was released, and the audio drivers still suck.

So on day 1, I had video that performed like I had a 10 year old onboard video card when I actually had the best video card available at the time. The audio wouldn't work, plugging in headphones would require me to reboot to switch. It was bad. 45 days after release most of the driver problems were sorted out (except audio), and about 90 days after release all my hardware had acceptable vista support (again, except audio).

So yeah, I kinda get the whole Vista DID suck attitude, and unfortunately 45-days of suck killed it. The mass has decided it sucks and even though it doesn't anymore, that doesn't matter. It's going to remain "teh suk" no matter what. Releasing Windows 7 was the best thing Microsoft could do at this point. Most people will be more willing to give it a fresh look.

At least that was my experience, and that's my opinion. However, I use vista everyday, and I like it NOW, but I definately did not when it came out. But again, it was all driver issues.

RE: Yeah.
By omnicronx on 6/2/2009 5:09:21 PM , Rating: 3
Any Ac97 based card worked out of the box in Vista on pretty much any setup imaginable, so let me guess, you were using a Soundblaster and an Nvidia card. In both scenerios the blame can be put squarely on the manufacturer and poor driver support, not Microsoft.

You are right though even that first month was too much. You would not believe how many people I know with the exact same setups that blamed MS and Vista for their problems and ditched the OS within a week.

I too had an Nvidia card at the Vista launch, and lets just say they will not be seeing any cash from my pocket anytime soon. Anyone who says that MS didnt give them enough time was not following the Betas. ATI had stable drivers a good 6 months before Vista's release.

RE: Yeah.
By Alexstarfire on 6/2/2009 5:23:18 PM , Rating: 3
The thing is that even if it is/was technically the manufacturer's fault everyone was going to blame Microsoft since it was THEIR OS. The fact that it all worked on XP didn't help them out either.

RE: Yeah.
By sxr7171 on 6/2/2009 10:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
True first impressions tend to stick. Now I have people asking me if it's okay to try Win 7 on their 3 year old laptop. No matter how many times I explain that the OS is designed to run perfectly on tiny underpowered netbooks these guys are afraid to put Win 7 on an older machine.

That perception is very hard to get rid of.

RE: Yeah.
By Totemic on 6/3/2009 12:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Becareful with that kind of recommendation.
A lot of laptops have custom drivers for things like their touch pad, Wifi, video and in some cases thumb print readers, which may not be supported out of the box under Win7. Remember, when you buy a laptop from some retailer, the installation of the OS is customized, usually with a lot of their drivers.

So yes, while Win7 may run find on that laptop, it may not have all the necessary drivers so all the things simply may not work correctly.

For example, I have a Toshiba Tecra M2, a very old laptop. I installed Windows 7 RC on it. Works great except for one detail: No built in support for the video so I'm using the generic driver which only gives me 64K color depth at the native LCD display resolution. I can deal with it, but it's still a bit annoying. Maybe with RTM build the driver will be built in. I hope so, since I REALLY doubt Toshiba/nVidia is going to bother providing me with an updated driver for a laptop that they aren't going to make any money off.

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