Microsoft is moving forward with plans to launch Windows 7 this year, although the company still refuses to publicly commit to that goal.
PC industry sources in Asia and the U.S. tell CNET News that they have heard things are on track to launch by this year's holiday shopping season, which has been Microsoft's internal target for some time.
Microsoft is also putting the finishing touches on a program to offer Vista buyers a free or low-cost update to Windows 7. That program could kick off as early as July, sources said.
The company has run such "technology guarantee" programs in the past, typically allowing each PC maker to set the exact rules, but essentially offering buyers after a certain time to get a free upgrade to the next version. (TechArp has a post with even more details on Microsoft's planned Windows 7 Upgrade Program.)Sources: Windows 7 moving toward 2009 release | Beyond Binary - CNET News