On the Engineering Windows 7
blog this week, Microsoft again noted that it was planning to give the public a Release Candidate of Windows 7 before the final version is ready. In other words, there is not going to be a "Beta 2," and the public would only see one public beta build: Windows 7 build 7000
. However, a timeline for these versions is not disclosed: "This post is in no way an announcement of a ship date, change in plans, or change in our previously described process, but rather it provides additional detail and a forward looking view of the path to RTM and General Availability."
The fact that Microsoft is not planning a second beta, that the first beta is the most stable Microsoft has ever given out, and that getting Windows 7 ready in time for the holidays is advantageous has all led to speculation that Microsoft wants Vista's successor out this year. Officially, Microsoft has always said "three years after the general availability of Windows Vista," which was released on January 30, 2007, and that the release date was also dependent on quality. As with any product in beta, enthusiasts have been making predictions all over the place, most in the timeframe of late 2009 to early 2010
. Microsoft employees have been making their own predictions, but the cutoff is much earlier in 2009: October 3.
Full Story: More proof that Microsoft wants Windows 7 out in 2009 - Ars Technica