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Users start to get final Windows 7 this week

Although the general public has to wait until October 22, the new operating system will be made available to some developers on Thursday and certain businesses on Friday.


The wait for Windows 7 will soon be over--at least for those in Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet developer programs. Members of those two groups will have access to the new operating system starting on Thursday.

Another group--large businesses with volume license deals for Windows--will get access to the code on Friday, while other large businesses will be able to get the software starting September 1.

Consumers and small businesses, meanwhile, will have to wait until the product's official launch on October 22, when the product will start shipping on new computers and hit retail shelves.

Microsoft finalized the code for Windows 7 late last month. CNET colleague Seth Rosenblatt's official review of the operating system can be found here, and I've embedded his video review below.

Another date worth pointing out is August 20--the last day to download the free "release candidate" version of Windows 7. Although it won't last forever, it's a good way for those with some technical know-how to try out Windows 7 for free.