The scheduled release date for Windows 7, successor to Windows Vista, has apparently been moved up from 2010 to the latter half of 2009, according to reports.
While Microsoft isn't officially commenting on a schedule change, a revised road map for the OS was provided to TG Daily, which says the Milestone 1 (M1) code has shipped to selected partners. Notable changes so far include a slimmed-down OS kernel -- dubbed MinWin -- and a new system that will merge graphics cards from multiple vendors.
ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley says she's not surprised that the release date might fall in 2009. Though she has no evidence that it will, she lists several reasons that it would, including the fact that Microsoft will want to have it ready to load on PCs well before the 2009-2010 holiday sales season.
This APCmag.com piece also suggests that Microsoft, officially or not, is putting hardware vendors on notice to keep up better with Windows 7 development that it did with Vista. It also points out that a 2009 release would put Windows 7 off-schedule with Windows Server.