Bill Laing revealed the plans for 2008 Server R2 during an interview. Generally, the server versions of new Windows releases are shipped later than the desktop variants, because the former needs more rigorous testing. As such, it's pretty much certain now that Windows 7 will arrive before Christmas, and Microsoft may even try to pick a few back to school sales by releasing in October.
And that brings us to another interesting piece of news, coming from the British PC Pro magazine. According to Microsoft's Windows OEM manager, Laurence Painell, the company has some "quite major announcements" up its sleeve for the coming weeks to coincide with the release of the release candidate of Windows 7.
There's no specific release date set yet for the RC, but a recent "accidental" leak indicates the RC will most likely arrive somewhere in May.