Although Microsoft is not promising anything other than a release in late 2009 or early 2010, everything seems to indicate that Windows 7 will be out in time for this year's holiday season. The release candidate went out MSDN subscribers today, roughly four months since the beta launched, an official download for the public at large will follow on May 5, and development towards the RTM is already on track.

But when exactly is it going to be released in its final form? According to an Acer executive, on October 23 along with their new all-in-one Z5600 PC built specifically around Windows 7 features. He also confirmed that any Vista-based models purchased in the 30 days prior to this date will be eligible for Microsoft's free upgrade program. Needless to say, you should take this with a grain of salt, but even Microsoft itself has said that "a holiday release is accomplishable." Hopefully, an official announcement will come sooner rather than later.