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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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