On the Windows Team Blog, the Windows 7 Team announced that Windows 7 will be in stores beginning October 22, 2009, just in time for the holidays. This date marks the general availability (GA) date, which means that the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) bits will be made available to OEM system builders probably by mid- to late-July.
I personally haven’t loaded Win7 on an older machine yet, but I have friends and colleagues who have. Everyone has told me that Win7 runs better on those machines than WinXP, and they never even tried to install Vista on those boxes.
One of my work machines is a HP dv7 laptop. I upgraded it from Windows Vista Home Premium to Win7 Ultimate RC and have only had one issue so far, the digital tuner doesn’t seem to work. Oh well. I don’t watch that much live TV anyway (except for sports events), besides that’s what Hulu is for.
If you’re running the Win7 Beta on any of your machines, you should consider upgrading to the RC bits soon. Not because the RC bits are more stable (which they are), but because the Beta is scheduled to expire on August 1st and starting July 1st, the OS will begin shutting down every two hours. (Not quite as painful as a message self-destructing like in Mission: Impossible but really annoying.)
Officially, you can’t upgrade from Beta to RC, but there is an un-official way to upgrade. I used the the technique on one of my other work machines and it worked like a charm. Check out the Win7 Dev Team’s blog article entitled: Delivering a quality upgrade experience for more information.
And in case you’re wondering, the RC bits are set to expire June 1, 2010 and the bi-hourly shutdown will start to occur on March 1, 2010.