Not only is that before Windows 7's general availability, but it's well ahead of when large computer manufacturers will be shipping their first 7-based systems. Companies like HP, Dell and Acer won't be entering the scene until the 22 -- a definite, if only temporary advantage for the little guy. "We have a long line of customers who are waiting for Windows 7," said Bach.
Puget Systems has taken informal orders for new Windows 7 machines from about 50 customers, and as of today, the company is accepting pre-orders. Microsoft has yet to comment on the early availability of Windows 7 through system builders.