Officials at Microsoft have said that the company expects to begin manufacturing of Windows 7 t before the end of the month. They have been less forthcoming about exactly when users will be able to get their hands on the product — other than users who buy new PCs with it preloaded starting October 22. On July 10, however, Microsoft notified its reseller partners that it plans to allow business users who’ve purchased volume licenses plus Software Assurance contracts to get Windows 7 before the end of July. Earlier in the year, Microsoft officials acknowledged they were offering Software Assurance users Windows 7 incentives, but didn’t spell out the particulars.
It is believed by insiders that Microsoft is about a week away from RTMing Windows 7. This week, as part of its announcement that Steven Sinofsky will be promoted to new Windows chief, Microsoft reiterated that it is on track to release Windows 7 to manufacturing in late July.
Next week’s Worldwide Partner Conference is something Microsoft plans to use as an opportunity to get its resellers ready for the new OS. 27 sessions have been scheduled by Microsoft which will be dedicated to helping partners make money on Windows 7 through deployment, migration, and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and other related channels.