Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it is releasing the code for Windows 7 to PC manufacturers, keeping the software company on track to have machines running its new operating system in the stores by late October. The move means Hewlett-Packard Co, Dell Inc, Acer Inc and other computer makers can start to load up new PCs, laptops and netbooks with the operating system, the successor to the unpopular Vista.
Both Microsoft and the manufacturers are hoping the full launch of Windows 7, scheduled for October 22, will help lift PC sales out of the slump caused by the global economic downturn, and give the holiday shopping season an extra lift.
PC makers were scheduled to get their copies of the RTM version within two days of the release, so it sounds like they're on schedule. Then, in early August MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to get their copies. After that there are various schedules for volume licensing customers to get their copies before the October 22 general public release.