The Microsoft Windows 7 Beta 1 has been out for a couple weeks now. Due to the high interest, Microsoft extended the beta download until February 10th. The Microsoft Windows 7 team posted now a lengthy blog post about the next steps for Windows 7.
The blog post makes clear that it does not reveal a release date of Windows 7 neither does it mark a change in plan. Microsoft just wants to cosy up to to the Windows community and let Windows fanboys know what's next. The next milestone for the development of Windows 7 is the Release Candidate or “RC”. Microsoft will provide the Windows 7 Release Candidate as a refresh for the current Beta after the fixed the reported issues from the Windows 7 Beta 1. Apparently Microsoft got a Feedback message every 15s at peak times.
Microsoft sees the Windows 7 release as a partnership with you and the main thing going on during this phase of the project is really about ecosystem readiness.
After the Windows 7 RC, Windows 7 goes to manufacturing (RTM) and then to general availability (GA).
Overall this sounds like we really will see a Windows 7 release in 2009.
More details on MSDN.
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