Should you be worried about the July 1, 2010 "drop dead" date for Windows 7 RC, which was released today? Not according to Acer. In an interview with Pocket-Lint's Chris Hall, Bobby Watkins, Acer UK's Marketing Director, says that October 23, 2009 will be the day that Windows 7 will be available.
Believable? One comment from a US-based reader points out that October 23
...comes at the end of the major U.S. back-to-school selling season and could postpone buying by thousands of people in order to get into the 30-day free upgrade cycle [Acer says that purchases 30 days or less before the Windows 7 release qualify for a free upgrade]. The Microsoft OEM's will absolutely hate this date because it will cost them money.
On the other hand, the date falls comfortably before the holiday season (Microsoft missed the 2006 holiday season with Windows Vista). At any rate, Microsoft's hedging its bets: while the Windows 7 beta starts shutting down on July 1 2010 and quits completely on August 1 2010, Windows 7 RC will work well after the date Acer's claiming for RTM availability. (And, by the way, if you follow Will Smith's Twitter stream, you could have gotten your copy last night). If you've already been playing with Windows 7 RC, how close do you think it is to being ready to ship? Hit Comment and sound off!