Windows 7, Microsoft's latest operating system, will be ready to roll this October, according to an Acer spokesperson.
A UK-based Acer representative has been quoted as saying Windows 7 will ship with the company's upcoming Z5600 all-in-one PC starting on October 23. The Z5600 will actually become available in late September, and customers who purchase it during that first month will be offered a free Windows 7 upgrade after the release, the spokesperson added.
An October launch would be a significant bump up from the January 2010 date Microsoft's been claiming. Some evidence does suggest it could be possible: a series of interviews in which Microsoft execs have let "oh-nine" slip from their lips; what appeared to be a leaked Microsoft memo that hinted at a late 2009 date; and a publication last fall pointing to October 2009 as a probable launch time. (The publication did only cite "unnamed sources" at Microsoft who supposedly agreed with a blogger's best guess, though, so don't put too much stock in it.)
Release Candidate connection
The fresh speculation comes right as Microsoft is letting its Windows 7 Release Candidate out into the wild. Microsoft released Windows 7 RC1 for MSDN and TechNet subscribers on Thursday. The software will be made available for everyone else next Tuesday, May 5.
Of course, you may not necessarily have to wait: In a slight instance of déjà vu, an apparent copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate leaked on to filesharing sites last week. From the looks of it, that might be the more accessible option at the moment, too: Microsoft has seemingly been suffering some sort of database glitch that's kept developers from successfully downloading the official file, as Technologizer's Harry McCracken points out.
Does the Windows download glitch sound awfully familiar? Don't worry - you aren't necessarily suffering from more déjà vu. When Microsoft initially released the Windows 7 beta back in January, the massive demand caused its servers to melt down. The company ultimately delayed the release until its system capacity could be increased.
JR Raphael writes for PC World. Follow him on Twitter