Even though the company management does not want to admit it, Vista is a dud. Just like Intel execs neatly forgot the crappy marchitecture that NetBu(r)st was and started touting otherwise brilliant Core 2 architecture, don’t expect that Ballmer & Co. will say “Sorry for Vista” until Windows 7 comes out.
Just like during PDC 2008 conference, Microsoft will be giving away pre-beta build of Windows 7. What makes this conference announcement important is the following tagline:
WinHEC is the only chance for you to engage with the team at this level – there is not another WinHEC planned before Windows 7 is released.
This statement confirms that Microsoft is dead-set on releasing Windows 7 before November 2009, and contacting moles at Microsoft was a given. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a hold of my otherwise down-right reliable moles within Windows group, but one mole surfaced at Redmond campus and told me that product planning meetings are constantly taking place at accelerated pace when compared to the 2006 and 2007. The source contributed this to Ray Ozzie and the way how the team reshuffled. This mole was filled with praise for Ray, citing his eternal dedication and enthusiasm. People are highly motivated and want to send the message that Microsoft is not “dead in the water”, but “show who’s the boss”. But guys, without compelling experience, forget it.
What makes the matters interesting are things learned from development of Vista – it seems that Microsoft gave too much to the Hollywood mob, MPAAfia and others, and the “cost of hardware passed to the consumer” was never compensated. DRM mechanisms included things such as 5 read/write checks whenever video overlay is included (as well as specific game scenes – cut scenes, for example), which killed the performance of already limited integrated graphics.
When it comes to the release date, Long Zheng caught the message first. However, we might have conflicting sources, since my source is much more optimistic when it comes to release dates. His ninjas are talking about Windows 7 in Q4’09, but my mole claims that the target is – shipping a quarter earlier!
We should see a launch of official beta in Q1’09, followed by first public beta (B2) in Q2 and RTM version in time for Back-to-School shopping spree in 2009. If all things fall into place, of course. If they fall into place, Windows 7 are August go-go. If not, shipping in October is a must in order to get into systems for Black Friday/Cyber Monday (Thanksgiving) and Christmas shopping sprees.
Given the DirectX 11 hardware that both ATI and Nvidia are preparing for end of Q2’09, you don’t need to be a wizard to understand that big things will happen in 2009.