The folks over at CIO magazine have gathered the thoughts of industry analyst on Microsoft’s release of Windows 7 in the future. Is it really important that they have it out by Holiday 2009 or does even need to be here next year? One analyst thoughts on the matter caught my eye and I thought I would respond on what I believe is a misunderstanding about Microsoft’s development of this release of Windows in particular.
Quote: Al Gillen, research VP of system software at IDC, is not entirely convinced that Windows 7 could make the 2009 holiday timeframe even if Microsoft wanted it.
"Let’s work backwards to get a reality check," says Gillen. "For Microsoft to make holiday 2009, the product must be released to OEMs by, say, September, or October 1 at the latest. That will be RTM [release to manufacturing] code. Back up to RC2, RC1, Beta 3, Beta 2 and Beta 1, and you are looking at a minimum of an 8-month window."
Read the entire article here
Why the mention of a BETA 3 for Windows 7? Not even Vista which is major .0 release needed a BETA 3 build to get feedback. There is even some hints that Windows 7 will only have one BETA 1 cycle which will be feature complete and be publicly available then go straight to RC’s if needed. Vista was a different era in how Windows was developed. The reset took a toll on its development, the third party ISVs and IHVs were reluctant to develop for a moving target. Even when the development did stabilize they refused to get ready for the obvious RTM in November 2006 and GA in January 2007.
Windows 7 has everything in place, the same compatibility level as Vista, ISVs and IHVs have been preparing to get their drivers ready from early on. Its one of three things for Windows 7’s release, ready by August 2009 like XP was by August 2001, 2) available to Businesses by November 2009 with some high volume OEMs preloading the OS on new systems by November also and 3) have the GA availability world wide with boxed copies on store shelves world wide by January 2010. There are so many ways Microsoft can launch this and its looking to be phased in release.