When we heard the chatter last week that Windows 7 may be brought forward and released towards the end of 2009 to save us all from Vista it may us very happy. Now we're sad again...
In a formal Q&A with 'The WinVista Club' (nope, I wouldn't join either - no matter how little public nudity was in the initiation) Microsoft was surprisingly upfront about its next generation OS timeframe, stating:
"We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and expect it will take approximately 3 years to develop. The specific release date will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release."
That puts Windows 7 closer to 2011 and we know how poor the giant is at hitting its own deadlines. More typically, Microsoft then clammed up about the development of Windows 7 refusing to comment on whether it had been released to partners and there was also no word on the validity of the leaked Windows 7 screenshots (like the one above). In which case we'll assume they're bonafide.
So the big question in all this is whether we will have any choice but to adopt Vista prior to Windows 7 being released. After all, XP's Service Pack 3 is already confirmed as the last one the OS will get and I don't expect Vista to be where we all want it until it reaches SP2 status.
Oh well, goodbye sweet redemption. Hello endless 'calculating time remaining' and 'Vista needs your permission' pop-ups...