Looks like Vista will be joining the ranks of past Microsoft OSes such as Windows ME as a short-lived and much reviled release as word from the Big Man himself says that Windows 7 will be out next year:
MIAMI—Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Friday indicated that Windows 7, the next major version of Windows, could come within the next year, far ahead of the development schedule previously indicated by the software maker.
In response to a question about Windows Vista, Gates, speaking before the Inter-American Development Bank here, said: “Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version.” Referring to Windows 7, the code name for the next full release of Windows client software, Gates said: “I’m super-enthused about what it will do in lots of ways.”
[…] Unclear is whether Gates was referring to early testing of Windows 7 coming within the year, as opposed to a widespread release or debut. An early test geared toward developers would be conceivable. The company has repeatedly said that it will accelerate the development of new Windows versions, largely as a response to Vista’s roughly five year gestation period.
Of course Windows 7 will be using Vista as its base to begin with so it’s not like Vista is really going away, but this news may be enough for a lot of folks to skip right over Vista as it currently stands in hopes that the next version of Windows fixes a lot of the perceived flaws. It’ll be particularly interesting to see how businesses react to this news considering that last week Microsoft started pushing harder for businesses to adopt Vista.