We still have well over a month (October 22nd) until the launch of Windows 7. However, that is not a lot of time if your job involves laying the groundwork for installation on multiple PC's.

Microsoft still hasn't released the expected OEM preinstallation kits to small PC makers and for those that will be deploying Windows 7 in a custom built network environment.

There is also no word from Redmond on when it will happen.

"We delay release to system builders for two reasons. First, since system builders are typically local and have less complex supply chains, they can often go to market much faster than larger OEMs. Second, since system builders acquire product indirectly and are so numerous, there is no effective way for Microsoft to provide those partners the product earlier and maintain the established general availability date."
- Microsoft Spokesperson, as reported by Ars Technica

In other news....

Sanyo is now selling a laptop carrier in Japan from their Eneloop line that uses a solar panel with a USB hookup to recharge the battery in mobile devices. It's going for about $100 when you convert the currency.

It's not availabe in the United States yet.

When it does hit the market here I predict it will do better in Arizona than Seattle.