Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 is right on track for release in 2010. Concomitantly with the leaked details associated with Windows 7 Milestone 1 dropped by the Redmond company to select partners in January 2008, a potential timetable for the availability of the successor of Windows Vista was also made public. According to the leaked information on the next iteration of the Windows platform, having just reached M1, the final version of Windows 7 was to be wrapped up the end of 2009.
Officially, the Redmond company has only been saying that Windows 7 development would take an estimated three-year timeframe. However, Microsoft always failed to specify the moment when the three-year timeframe started. The debut of Windows 7 development was indeed connected with the release of Windows Vista, but this aspect only contributed to the confusion because the latest Windows client was launched to businesses in November 2006 and to the general public in January 2007. So in this context, the finalization of Windows 7 could just as easily be aimed for the end of 2009, as well as 2010.
Well, this is no longer the case. Microsoft explained that it would deliver Windows 7 three years after the consumers launch of Vista. "We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and development is scoped to three years from Windows Vista Consumer GA. The specific release date will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release," a Microsoft spokesperson revealed to Softpedia via email.
Windows Vista Consumer GA means nothing more than the general availability of the operating system. In this regard, Microsoft has merely reconfirmed what it has in fact said since mid 2007, that Windows 7 is planned for 2010. Recently, the Redmond company has delivered a build of Windows 7 for review to the U.S. antitrust regulators. This was made public via the "Joint status report on Microsoft's compliance with the final judgments."
I contacted Microsoft and asked whether the new version of Windows 7 was still M1 or if the company has reached Milestone 2 (M2). The leaked timetable for Windows 7 had M1 set to expire in May, and M2 to be delivered in April/May. Outside of the confirmation quoted above, Microsoft did not comment on Windows 7 M1, M2 or the potential antitrust issues that would be generated by the connecting of Windows 7 with Windows Live Wave 3. Update: correction - Windows 7 M1 is said to expire in May 2008, not March, with M2 expected in April/May.