Leak suggests Windows 7 on course for July release
By Tim Danton
Posted on 26 Mar 2009 at 17:26UPDATE: The TechNet page has now been taken down, but you can see its contents by clicking the thumbnail at the bottom of this page.
A leak on the Russian Microsoft TechNet website reveals that the release candidate for Windows 7 will be live this May, along with an unlimited number of product keys which won't expire until June 2010.
The leak was made public by Neowin.net, and although Microsoft will no doubt deny it's an official confirmation, PC Pro contributing editor and Microsoft watcher Jon Honeyball thinks it's real.
"I think Microsoft is on the point of releasing the RC, whether it comes in April or it comes in May is a moot question.
"Some would say it's ready to roll very soon and I think there may well be two release waves of the RC: a first drop to the faithful and then a second public drop in May. They're going to want as many public users as possible."
Jon also believes Microsoft is showing new-found confidence with the release of Windows 7.
"The fact the RC runs until June next year shows they're confident about it, and they're right to be as this looks to be the most solid Windows release ever. And I also think this still points to a 7/7 release date, or at least an announcement date."
Jon points to a number of reasons for this, including the vital September sales wave.
"That's tight but the system manufacturers will be ready to go for this. I think Microsoft is going to use the 7/7 date as a huge marketing tool to get away from Vista, and the good thing about 7/7 is that not only is it a good use of 7 but it's the same date in all locations - if you think of American dates versus European dates.
"Microsoft needs to get Windows 7 in the mind of customers and remove Vista and XP. I think we're going to see one of the biggest launches since Windows 95 and for the same reason - Windows 95 saw the move from 16- to 32-bit and a new UI, and in the same way Windows 7 is a purging of the old ills. And Microsoft will only get one shot at it."
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