MGX 2008Microsoft announced that if everything goes according to plan (like that ever happens in the world of software) then Windows 7 will be available sometime in 2010. That gives Microsoft more than three years to round up all of their new features, plan them out, develop them, and test them. I would be thoroughly impressed if Microsoft can get another version of Windows out by 2010.

The fact that Microsoft even announced the general timeframe is nothing short of shocking though, especially with how secretive they have been regarding Vista SP1. The announcement of the Windows 7 release date came at the MGX 2008 conference, where Bill Gates gave his last MGX keynote.

The good news is that Windows 7 will ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, so the upgrade to 64-bit compatible processors isn’t needed quite yet. There was no mention whether there would be another 25 different editions of Windows, but I’m sure that is something we can count on. After all, it wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t have to look at a huge table to figure out which version of Windows is right for you. :)

At any rate, Microsoft even confirmed that they have been sharing some information regarding Windows 7, but they made sure to thrown in the "it might not be ready" clause (I put it in bold):

As part of our ongoing outreach to enterprise customers and partners, Microsoft has begun sharing plans for how they will continue to deliver value to businesses in the future, including Software Assurance customers in particular. As part of this, we are sharing some preliminary information on Windows ‘7’ — the internal name for the next version of the Windows Client OS — as well as updates on other future Windows-related releases such as the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. Microsoft is scoping Windows ‘7’ development to a three-year timeframe, and then the specific release date will ultimately be determined by meeting the quality bar. In the meantime, Microsoft is dedicated to helping customers deploy and get the most business value from their PCs using Windows Vista and related technologies like the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, and we’re encouraged by the response and adoption of these products so far.

As long as Windows 7 hits the "quality bar," we should be seeing it sometime in 2010. This also led me to think of something else that I thought might be fun. Why not make a game out of this so that we can look back in 3-years to see where we thought we would be. Here’s what we’re gonna do:

–Enter your Prediction–

Magic 8 BallI’ve got four things below that you can make a prediction on regarding Windows 7:

  • Name – Go on…take a stab in the dark what you think the next version of Windows is going to be called when it ships.
  • Release Date – What day (by that I mean day, month, and year) do you think Windows 7 will ship for consumers)?
  • Number of Versions – How many different versions of Windows do you think will be available? Vista currently has 6 different editions in case you were wondering.
  • Pricing – What do you think the least expensive and most expensive versions will cost (and I mean the retail cost)?

So that’s all you gotta do! This isn’t any official contest, but maybe in 3-years we’ll turn it into one. :) So have some fun, and here are my guesses:

Name: Windows Serene
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Number of Versions: 3
Pricing: $125 to $500

Source: All About Microsoft [via Richard in the CyberNet Forum]