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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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January 29, 2009 10:24 AM

Windows 7 officially no more than a year away

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

According to Microsoft's official schedule, Windows 7 is due out no later than a year from now. Many expect it sooner, but the company has stuck with the same schedule: The next version will be out no later than three years from Windows Vista's general availability, which was Jan. 29, 2007 -- two years ago today. And what a two years it's been for Microsoft's flagship product. ...

No doubt, Microsoft and many Windows users are eager for what's coming next.

The Windows 7 beta has been out in the wild (officially) for nearly three weeks and some have launched a petition for Microsoft to release it now. The petition had received only 74 votes when I viewed it this morning. (Link to "Release Windows 7" via TechFlash.) By the way, if you want to get the beta, you've got until Feb. 10 to begin downloading it. More details on that here.

People have been asking how they will be able to move from older versions of Windows to the newest one. Stephen Wildstrom at BusinessWeek tackles upgrading from Windows XP in this post. He writes:

"XP users will not be able to to install Win 7 as an upgrade that will leave all of your programs in place. Instead, you will have to back up your data and settings, do a clean installation of win 7, then reload your apps and restore your data. I expect there will be some sort of migration tool to make this somewhat easier."

Microsoft's position, from Wildstrom's post, "[W]e expect most customers who upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 will be doing so through the purchase of a new computer, thereby making the upgrade virtually effortless."

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