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Win 7 promised for October 22

Microsoft got specific about general availability for Windows 7. The software will be on PCs and store shelves October 22, Microsoft said Wednesday. According to the Windows Team blog, partners should get RTM code in the second half of July. RTM code for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available at around the same time.

Given the Vista ups and downs, it’s hard to tell what pent-up demand there is for Windows 7. Many shops, citing the economy, are in no particular hurry to undergo big migrations.

One big question is how Microsoft will deal with those customers who’ve already gone to Vista.  At TechEd a few weeks ago,  Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte said the company will protect that investment. It’s unclear exactly how it will do that, but several partners said Microsoft will have to offer extremely inexpensive (aka near-free) Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrades.

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