Officially, Microsoft has very little to say about Windows 7.
But since nature abhors a vacuum, and tech enthusiasts like them even less, the rumor mills are starting to crank into high gear.
Postings in the last week suggest that Windows 7 may arrive in 2009, not 2010, as had become the conventional wisdom. Meanwhile, a poster at enthusiast site Neowin, claims to have played with an early development build of the software.
I’ve long been skeptical of the notion that Microsoft would wait until 2010 to try to update Vista. It just doesn’t fit well with CEO Steve Ballmer’s promise that Microsoft would speed up Windows releases.
Plus, Vista has gotten only a modest reception from reviewers and other critics. And while Microsoft is bringing out a service pack update this year, the company has said it will contain virtually no new features. As such, it is unlikely to boost consumer enthusiasm.
That said, Windows 7 won’t necessarily be a major architectural overhaul. If I were Microsoft, I’d spend nearly all my time fixing Vista annoyances and adding features that don’t touch the core of Windows, particularly in areas that consumers really care about, such as photos, music, video, and Web browsing.