Windows 7 in October? Here's the scoop

Windows 7 may be hitting store shelves sooner than you think.

Windows 7 may be hitting store shelves sooner than you think. Microsoft's latest operating system will be ready to roll this October, some information published by a British tech site suggests.

The Windows 7-October Story

The report, posted Thursday at Pocket Lint, cites a U.K.-based Acer representative as saying Windows 7 will ship with the company's upcoming Z5600 all-in-one PC starting on October 23. The Z5600 will actually become available in late September, the spokesperson is quoted as saying. Customers who purchase it during that first month will be offered a free Windows 7 upgrade after the release, he says.

An October launch would be a significant bump up from the January 2010 date Microsoft's been claiming. Some evidence does suggest it could be possible: a series of interviews in which Microsoft execs have let "oh-nine" slip from their lips; what appeared to be a leaked Microsoft memo that hinted at a late 2009 date; and a publication last fall pointing to October 2009 as a probable launch time. (The publication did only cite "unnamed sources" at Microsoft who supposedly agreed with a blogger's best guess, though, so don't put too much stock in it.)

An U.S. Acer spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the reports.

Release Candidate Connection

The fresh speculation comes right as Microsoft is letting its Windows 7 Release Candidate out into the wild. Microsoft released Windows 7 RC1 for MSDN and TechNet subscribers on Thursday. The software will be made available for everyone else next Tuesday, May 5.

Of course, you may not necessarily have to wait: In a slight instance of déjà vu, an apparent copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate leaked onto file-sharing sites last week. From the looks of it, that might be the more accessible option at the moment, too: Microsoft has seemingly been suffering some sort of database glitch that's kept developers from successfully downloading the official file, as Technologizer's Harry McCracken points out.

Does the Windows download glitch sound awfully familiar? Don't worry -- you aren't necessarily suffering from more déjà vu. When Microsoft initially released the Windows 7 beta back in January, the massive demand caused its servers to melt down. The company ultimately delayed the release until its system capacity could be increased.

For more on what awaits you within the Windows 7 Release Candidate, see "Windows 7 RC Adds New Remote Media Streaming, Virtual Windows XP Mode."

Connect with JR Raphael on Twitter (@jr_raphael) or via his Web site, jrstart.com.

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JR Raphael

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