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Rules for calculating Windows 7 ship dates

It wasn’t long ago that whenever Microsoft gave a ship-date target for a new Windows release, IT managers would add anywhere between a few months to a couple years to it when figuring their upgrade schedules.

As crazy as it sounds, the new way to calculate when a new Windows release will ship seems to be to subtract a few months or even a year from what the Softies are promising publicly.

Here are the whisper dates for Windows 7 I’ve been hearing:

  • Feature-complete, public Beta 1: The week before Christmas 2008 (Microsoft is saying Q1 2009)
  • No public Beta 2 (Microsoft isn’t saying whether there will be a Beta 2)
  • Release Candidate: Q1/Q2 2009 (Microsoft is saying there will be “a release candidate” but offering no due date)
  • RTM: Mid-2009 (Microsoft is saying “early 2010&Prime)

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