Business Hacks Poll: When Will Windows 7 Ship?

Last Updated Feb 2, 2009 9:45 AM EST

For the moment, Microsoft is keeping mum about Windows 7's ship date. Original estimates pegged it as "the end of 2009," but the recent arrival of an extremely solid Windows 7 beta has folks wondering if the final OS might drop much sooner.

For starters, everyone knows Microsoft is keen to move past the PR train wreck that is Vista. And the beta has received such fawning praise from the media, Microsoft no doubt wants to capitalize on all that goodwill.

But I think the best evidence is the beta's expiration date: August 1, 2009. Microsoft would be cuh-razy to leave happy beta-testers without a working version of the OS. Thus, my bet is we'll see Windows 7 on store shelves by July.

What do you think? Vote in our poll, then hit the Comments to share your Windows 7 drop-date predictions.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.