We reported earlier that Windows 7's official launch date is Thursday October 22nd, and the operating system won't be available in stores until then. But PC World and Currys have already started shipping copies of Windows 7 to those who pre-ordered the OS - and some customers have already received them.

PC Advisor Windows 7 forum user Keeno316 reports that a representative on Dell.co.uk Chat "just told me all Dell PCs will ship with Windows 7 on orders made after the 18th".

Forum user jpieter states rather excitedly: "I got my 2 copies of Windows 7 this morning from PC World !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now to try it out !!!!!!", backed up by users RGB76, Newuser38, FreeCell, dth and TopCat® who also pre-ordered from PC World.

Windows 7 on sale

User g40 received his yesterday, having pre-ordered from Dixons, at the then knockdown price of £49.97. Grateful users crazyc1 and tigertop2 had also ordered from Dixons.

Windows 7 review

Windows 7 PCs

Betaman get his Windows 7 delivered from Currys.

Proclaimer's copy of Windows 7 shipped from Micro Anvika yesterday.

So far there are no reports of deliveries from Amazon, which has opted out of Royal Mail deliveries to beat the postal strike.

"Microsoft is aware of the planned postal strike and has taken action to minimise impact on those customers who pre-ordered their copies of Windows 7," the company said. "As a result, some customers may receive their copy of Windows 7 a day or two early."

If you have received your copy of Windows 7 early join in the announcement fun at our Windows 7 forum.