Mark your calendars, Windows fans. Ballmer’s crew has just made the launch date for Windows 7 official: October 22nd, 2009. Since Microsoft first released Windows 7 to the public in beta form (and even well before then), feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, many were caught by surprise. Windows 7 is a breath of fresh air to those who were blindsided by a disastrous Vista launch and who didn’t bother to stick around to sample later, infinitely more stable/usable builds. Despite the fact that it has maintained its market share very well, Microsoft has been in a constant battle to revitalize its image since then. Efforts were hit and miss until the company’s latest effort, the Laptop Hunter campaign, which has been very well received. Apple’s “I’m a Mac” campaign simply rehashes the same jabs over and over at this point and with a global recession in full swing, shoppers seem much more receptive to Microsoft’s message of affordability and value than Apple’s recycled quips. If Redmond can ride the wave until October, Windows 7 could certainly be a death blow to Apple’s already-dwindling market share. That is, if we don’t see a more affordable option from Apple before then.