Windows7 Windows 7 will be generally available (GA) on October 22. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be broadly available about the same time.

Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President, OEM Division, has announced the general dates at Computex, the largest computer exhibition in Asia and the second largest in the world.

Windows 7 will be released to manufacturers (RTM) in the second half of July.

The announcement was also made on the Windows Team blog at The Date for General Availability (GA) of Windows 7 is…

W2K8R2_thumb_1 ISVs can download both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. A key call to action is to insure that your software is compatible with the new operating systems.

Download Sites

To download Windows 7 release candidate, see Windows 7 Release Candidate: Download instructions. To download Windows Server 2008 R2, see Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate download.

Getting Ready for Next Generation Windows

For more information about the requirements to be compatible, see Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Application Quality Cookbook: A Developer’s Guide to Application Compatibility, Reliability, and Performance. You can do internal testing to these specifications. The specifications are very similar to the ones for Windows Vista. Most all applications that work with Windows Vista will work on Windows 7.

Windows-7-Client-Software-Logo-Program If you want to take your compatibility testing a step further, gain MSPP partner points, you can use the Microsoft Windows 7 Software Logo test. The logo will show your customers that you have performed tests to assure compatibility. For more information about the steps to take and how the logo program works, see Windows 7 Software Logo Toolkit Ready Now For Compatibility Tests. Some of my ISVs have completed the self test for Windows 7 the same day they received the toolkit and now display the Compatible with Windows 7 logo. Although the logo test is beta, once you complete the steps, you’ll be able to associate the logo with your qualifying products.

If you need help, there are compatibility test labs available around the world. Half day labs are being offered around the United States. For more information, see You’re Invited for Half-Day Windows 7 Application Compatibility Labs Across the US. In addition, Readiness Labs are available for no charge at world-wide Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC website) based on demand.  Please contact srglabs@microsoft.com to check for availability and booking details.

For the roadmap of the steps to rigorously prepare, see Windows Application Compatibility.

List Your Applications in Windows Catalogs

Once you can set a date for when your product will be ready for both client and server, be sure to list it in the list of compatible applications.

During the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 global launch time frame, Microsoft will publish a list of all the currently compatible and future compatible applications to help customers. This is a valuable opportunity to get your product listed on the Windows Compatibility Center or Windows Server Catalog and gain worldwide exposure. Signing up is quick and easy:

  • Visit the Partner Submission page to complete the Web form, or download a spreadsheet and submit it to us with your information. Be sure to opt-in to receive ongoing information about compatibility tools, resources and special promotion
  • Update your product status by returning to the Partner Submission page and re-submitting your information.
  • For more information about pledging your support, you can read the Windows Compatibility Center FAQ.

Take Advantage of New Features

To take advantage of many of the features in Windows 7 requires small change in code. Others, such as multi-touch requires more efforts. But there is plenty of “low hanging fruit” for you to show your software company leads in your market.

For more information about how you can take advantage of the features for your customers, see Walkthrough to Get Your Applications Ready for Windows 7 and How to Get Started Leveraging Windows Server 2008 R2 Features

To learn more about Windows 7 and how you can take advantage of the features, see See Windows 7 From a Developer Point of View in msdev.com Videos.