The Redmond, Wash., company says a development team has signed off on the personal computing operating system -- formerly codenamed Blackcomb and Vienna -- as part of a ritual called "release to manufacturing" that all Microsoft software products go through.
Software and hardware partners will be able to download the final code Aug. 6, Microsoft said. General customers can expect to see it on store shelves Oct. 22.
Windows 7 relies on the same underpinnings as Windows Vista, but adds features aimed at making the operating system both look and perform better, CNET News reported.
The software maker hopes the response to the new operating system is better than the lukewarm reviews and compatibility challenges that marked the 2007 Vista release, CNET said.