Microsoft could start shipping its next major operating system release, Windows 7, in the third quarter a launch date that is much earlier than expected.
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The revelation about a September or October launch was made by the president of Compal Electronics who let slip the details as he talked up the features on the next OS.
Compal makes laptops for some of the major hardware players and the comments made by president Ray Chen have been taken seriously. The admission has been picked up by the wires and appeared on Bloomberg, already knocked Microsoft's share price.
The vendor has maintained an official policy of indicating the release would be in January next year and in reports a spokesman at the vendor said that remained the stance.
There has been continued expectations that Windows 7 might be used as a promotional tool to try and spark some refresh spending. If it came in the run up to the busy Christmas spending period it could help the vendor and the hardware industry.