Clues hint Windows 7 debut in 2009

Microsoft says next month's annual WinHEC will be last before launch

Computerworld blogger Mike Elgan has also said that Asus plans to unveil touch-screen laptops early in 2009 that would, when Windows 7 is released, take advantage of that operating system's support for a multi-touch user interface.

Last month, after Microsoft announced that it would hand out alpha versions of Windows 7 at both WinHEC and its Professional Developers Conference (PDC), scheduled for next week, Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said that it was a good, though not sure, bet that the company is on track for a late 2009 or early 2010 launch. "We now know they're making progress," Cherry said then. "They at least have something they're confident enough in to share. But the next question is, how far along is it? And we won't know that until people load it up."

At the time, he also noted that although Microsoft slates PDC based on software releases -- which means the events aren't on a set schedule -- WinHEC is an annual affair.

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