A few sources have confirmed that big OEMs such as HP, Dell and Acer, are pushing Microsoft to give them an OEM version of Windows 7 by Q4 2009. They all think that Windows 7 will push sales of new machines up, and they will desperately need such a push before Xmas season of 2009.
Microsoft has promised to deliver Windows 7, and since we got our first Beta on first week of January, Microsoft will have to be extremely fast to bring the retail version until Q4 2009. Usually it takes more than 9 months to finish the beta testing but since Windows 7 is actually a tweaked and fixed version of Vista, maybe they can pull this one off.
The retail version might not show up before Q1 2010, and this might indicate that retail version will be a bit more updated and tweaked, while OEMs will fix their first Windows 7 versions via Windows update. If Microsoft pulls this launch off for Q4 2009, this will also mean better sales numbers for Microsoft in what looks to be a very tough year for IT.