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In a letter sent to business customers, senior vice-president Bill Veghte said: "Our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately three years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista."
Bill Veghte said customers wanted a more regular and predictable Windows release schedule. This was the impetus for setting the 2010 the ship date, said Veghte.
He addressed customer concerns over application compatibility with Vista, which had come to light shortly after its release.
"You've also let us know you don't want to face the kinds of incompatibility challenges with the next version of Windows you might have experienced early with Windows Vista.
"As a result, our approach with Windows 7 is to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista so the investments you and our partners have made in Windows Vista will continue to pay off with Windows 7," said Veghte.