Microsoft wants to end the Windows release circus?

I’ve just received a press release summarizing what Microsoft is willing to say about Windows 7. Perhaps the most interesting comment is this one:

  • Microsoft’s goal looking forward is to focus on building Optimized Desktop infrastructures including an OS versus single point-in-time OS releases.

That sounds sensible. It also suggests that Microsoft is beginning to treat its client OS as mature, at least when it comes to the kernel and core. The problem with big OS releases, as we saw with Vista, is getting the drivers lined up and working properly. Treating OS upgrades more casually is fine as long as the drivers continue to work.

What else? Here are a few more snippets:

  • Windows 7 will ship around January 2010. Actually, the release says “approximately three years after the general availability of Windows Vista (January 30, 2007)”. Of course January is a terrible month to release a new OS; Vista ended up there by mistake. More likely is September 2009 (optimistic) or say  June 2010 (realistic).
  • Windows 7 will be available in both 32 and 64-bit.
  • Microsoft “will be baking touch right into the OS …the user interface is designed to make touch a natural part of the user experience – even on the smallest laptops.”
  • The goal with Windows 7 is that it will run on the same hardware as Windows Vista and that the applications and devices that work with Windows Vista will also be compatible with Windows 7.