Jack Writes: It seems like the successor of Windows Vista will be released earlier than we previously thought. Microsoft has already offered some hints about the future version of Windows, known as Windows 7 or Windows Vienna or Blackcomb, but it has refused to publicly confirm a release schedule or a possible launch date.
Today, CNET News reported that Bill Gates speaking before the Inter-American Development Bank said that we can expect Windows 7 “sometime in the next year”.
"Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version," he actually said. Bill Gates will retire from his job as Microsoft’s chairman in July 2008, but he previously stated that he will be fully involved in the key decisions regarding the next products.
In February 2007, two weeks after the official launch of Windows Vista for consumers Microsoft has issued a press statement in response to the speculations about the next version and confirmed they are working on it.
“The launch of Windows Vista was an incredibly exciting moment for our customers and partners around the world, and the company is focused on the value Windows Vista will bring to people today. We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we’re working on it. When we are ready, we will provide updates,” said Kevin Kutz, Director, Windows Client, at the time.
In October 2007, Microsoft's Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut has demonstrated during a presentation at the University of Illinois, a version of the Windows kernel, called MinWin, which has just 100 files and 25MB.
"We'll be using [MinWin] to build all the products based on Windows," said Traut during his presentation. "It's not just the OS that's running on many laptops in this room, it's also the OS used for media centers, for servers, for small embedded devices." However, in January this year, the tech site TG Daily has reported that an early version of Windows 7 has been shipped to “key partners” as a “Milestone 1” (M1) code drop and said that the final version could be released as soon as 2009, and not in 2010 as it was previously believed based on certain Microsoft’s statements.
Last month Microsoft released Windows Vista Service Pack 1, its first update since the official launch of its newest operating system. In addition, the company has slashed the prices of Windows Vista, hoping to speed up its adoption amongst the consumers.
According to Steve Ballmer, so far the company has sold over 100 millions copies of Windows Vista. Last year, he said that the company hopes to sell 200 million copies of Windows Vista, until the end of 2008.
However, according to some analysts, Microsoft is having a hard time trying to convince the users to drop Windows XP in favor of Windows Vista.
On Thursday, the company said Windows XP Home would be available for ultra-low-cost PCs, especially laptops marketed in developing markets, for another two years.