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IDC released a study Tuesday forecasting positive uptick for Windows 7 in the channel, serendipitous timing if you’re a Microsoft fan with eyes on this week’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. Windows 7 has been front and center among the raft of upcoming product and solutions launches that Microsoft is literally blaring from the rooftops at the conference.

The Redmond, Wash., software company didn’t waste time publicizing the IDC report, citing it at the conference and pushing it out to partners. Summed up, IDC predicts that the channel – OEMs, ISVs, solution providers, systems integrators, etc. — will sell more than $320 billion in products and services revolving around Windows 7 between the October launch of the product and the end of 2010. For every dollar of revenue that Microsoft takes in from Windows 7 during that same time period, the surrounding channel will garner $18.52 in revenue on average, the report posits.

IDC is also predicting that Windows 7 adoption will take place quickly, with 177 million units shipped by the end of next year. The study points to a direct impact on employment as well, expecting Windows 7-related initiatives and projects to boost new jobs by 300,000 next year. That’s more than 30 percent of total growth in global IT employment.

Rosy news in such a down economy. But can anybody’s predictions be believed? At WPC, the general buzz on Windows 7 is positive, some of it overwhelmingly so. Yet a study by ScriptLogic riding the headlines on Monday put forth polar opposite projections for Windows 7 adoption and momentum.

The positive/negative back and forth is disorienting and while clearly a function of the uncertain economy says a lot about great unknown that is IT spending.