Windows 7 to Ship October 22nd, Disable Beta July 1st

Windows 7Windows 7 will ship October 22nd, according to Microsoft spokespersons, who confirmed the news for InformationWeek. The timing will put Microsoft's Vista-killer on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season, because what child doesn't want a new copy of Windows for Christmas?

Microsoft will also be launching a Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrade program. It will allow users who buy a new Vista system in advance of the Windows 7 release to upgrade to the new OS when it debuts.

For those running beta copies of Windows 7, Microsoft is planning on disabling it on July 1st of 2009.

Microsoft is hoping that Windows 7 can erase the stain that Vista became, an operating system that many Windows users stayed away from, despite its improved look and feel compared to Windows XP.

Vista also suffered from expectation management as it was originally billed as a complete overhaul of Windows, but turned into a much more modest update with a look and feel that many felt was resource intensive.

For its part, Apple is working on Snow Leopard, an update to Mac OS X 10.5 (likely to be designated 10.6) that focuses mostly on under-the-hood changes and ways to optimize usage of the multi-core processors that are now standard in Macs. Apple is expected to show developers more of Snow Leopard at next week's WWDC, and to release the OS later this year.