Microsoft isn’t know for being reliable when it comes to announcing when its products will be ready to ship.  But, indications are good that the minor restructuring the company has gone through is for the better and has announced, Windows 7 is on track, if not slightly ahead of schedule.

TGDaily reports that Windows 7 was scheduled for an early 2010 release but is now looking like Microsoft will be able to release the successor to Vista a few months early.  Windows 7 may ship in late 2009.

One of the changes present in the operating system is its ability to handle multiple graphics cards installed at the same time, called the “heterogeneous graphics system.”  This means an ATi and nvidia graphics card could be installed in the same system, at the same time and operate independently of each other.

There is also something about new touchscreen features as well as the new MinWin kernel which was developed specifically for Windows 7 and occupies little more than 40MB of memory while running.

Hopefully, with the new kernel, Windows 7 will have a smaller memory footprint than Windows Vista does.  But there are likely to be comprises along the way such as requiring a more powerful processor, graphics card or both but we’ll all know more when the RC and beta versions are unleashed to testers.

Windows Vista wasn’t at all what Microsoft had hoped for and hopefully Windows 7 will fix that.  Also, here’s hoping that it won’t cost as much or ship in as many versions so as not to confuse consumers.

This article originally appeared in on January 19, 2008.

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