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It's Official: Windows 7 Available Oct. 22

Ending months -- or is it years? -- of speculation, Microsoft announced yesterday that Windows 7 will be generally available on October 22.

That means it will likely "release to manufacturing" (or RTM, in software-speak) in late July or early August so that computer makers have time to start installing it on their systems.

Looks like the rumor mill(s) got it right. (I had my money on August, so I was partially right. Go me!) What remains to be seen is whether Windows 7 will cost more than Vista, as many have speculated.

Much as I'm looking forward to 7 from an end-user standpoint, I have some doubts as to whether it really offers significant ROI to businesses. After all, it's really just Vista with some UI paint.

What do you think? Will you be first in line for Windows 7? Buy a new PC just to get it? Or is all this much ado about nothing? Lay down your thoughts in the comments.

In the meantime, make sure to grab the Windows 7 Release Candidate for your test-driving pleasure, then take a guided tour of Windows 7's coolest features. And while you're at it, check out all our Windows 7 coverage. There's a long list of great stuff.