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Microsoft Update Windows 7, WM7 & Vista SP2 Timeframes

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A whole host of Microsoft related news today so let's get straight into it...

Firstly the Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Release Candidate has arrived this week as expected along with SP2 for Windows Server 2008. Both TechNet and MSDN subscribers can get it immediately. A mass general public release will come "in the very near future" but no doubt those of you using Bittorent or Usenet have it already. A final release will appear in Q2.

As for Vista's successor, president of Taipei based Compal Electronics Ray Chen has let slip Microsoft is telling PC makers that "according to current planning it {Windows 7} should be late September or early October." If you haven't heard of Compal, they make laptops for giants such as HP and Acer so this shouldn't be taken lightly.

More officially however is Microsoft letting slip about the latest changes since the Windows 7 beta candidate which will appear in the RC. Encouragingly they are fairly minor (boding well for a fast release) with additional keyboard shortcuts, more taskbar scaling to fit in extra icons, more noticeable animations for 'needy windows' (7 beta is too subtle), multi-touch support for a touch keyboard (incl. right click) and visual tweaks to Media Player and non-removable HDD FAT32 library support.

Now for all the excitement about Windows 7, it is arguable Windows Mobile 7 is even more pertinent to Microsoft's future given the tragedy of Windows 6.1/Windows Phone but Ballmer has confirmed this will not arrive until 2010. This was somewhat expected however and he has also restated Microsoft will not be entering the handset market. With the LG deal we're slowly starting to believe him).

Phew. Right, any other companies care to announce some news today...?!

Links:
Windows Blog Vista SP2 Announcement
Compal Statement via Bloomberg
Windows 7 RC Changes via MSDN Blog

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