Microsoft has urged businesses to ditch Vista deployment plans in favour of Windows 7, its next operating system.

Bill Veghte, the Microsoft senior vice president in charge of Windows said at a keynote speech in the States: "If you're just starting your testing of Vista, with the [Windows 7] Release Candidate and the quality of that offering, I would switch over and do your testing on the [Windows 7] Release Candidate, and use that going forward".

Microsoft released the Windows 7 Release Candidate to the public in May and it is available now as a free download for all - consumers and businesses - to try.

There's still no official date from Microsoft as when final versions of the new OS will go on sale, but a blog post from the company revealed "Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability", while Acer told Pocket-lint a 23 October launch date is planned.

Other Microsoft managers have been quoted as saying work on Windows 7 "should wrap up in August", which would fit with the October launch timescale. We will keep you posted.