I'm now hearing a lot of chat about Windows 7. While it's hard to separate out what's real and what's just drivel, I am getting a sense that Microsoft is ramping up development on Windows 7. So here's a question for those of you who've put off jumping onto the Vista platform so far - is all this talk of Windows 7 making it more likely that you'll give Vista a miss and wait for Windows 7 to be cooked?
It's not that Vista is being dealt out of the game just yet, but you sure get the feeling that it's not going to be long until it's handed its coat and hat
The problem with speculation is that it's hard to put any plans in place around it, but as soon as Bill Gates let it be known that "sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version" of Windows it because pretty obvious that Windows 7 was now well and truly on the cards. It's not that Vista is being dealt out of the game just yet, but you sure get the feeling that it's not going to be long until it's handed its coat and hat. Microsoft spokespeople are sticking to the story that the next version will ship three years from Vista's January 2007 debut (which would make it early 2010), so maybe Gates was referring to beta releases rather than the RTM code. However, even the official timeline would mean that we could be seeing Windows 7 betas late this year or early next, so no matter how you cut it, Windows 7 is pretty close.
People at Microsoft who are on the front line (PR, or those a couple of steps removed from PR) won't admit it, but those deeper within the organization have a little more freedom to admit that Vista is tainted much in the same way as Windows Me was tainted. While I don't think that Vista is anywhere near as bad as ME was, it doesn't have to be. Too many years went by between Windows launches and people had grown too used to XP and had come to expect far too much of Vista prior to release. Given those twin pressures, it was always going to be hard for Vista to be liked and respected no matter how good it turned out to be. The RTM release of Vista was far from perfect and this gave plenty of ammo to the Vista haters. Over the months since Vista was released Microsoft has worked hard to push out a number of patches that have significantly improved the OS, and SP1 goes a long way in making Vista as good, if not better is some aspects, than XP. Once something has been branded as damaged goods, it's hard to remove that label. Vista's stuck with the label "Vista ME, MKII."
This is where Windows 7 comes in. While I doubt that Windows 7 will be all that different to Vista (I certainly don't expect Microsoft to tinker too much with the kernel, and I don't expect it to be a 64-bit only flavor release), one thing that will be different is the name. I can almost guarantee you that it won't be called Vista II or anything like that.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the original question. If you've not already deployed Vista, does all this Windows 7 chatter make you want to hold out until 2010 and wait for the next version?
If so, do you think that Windows XP is good enough to hold out until 2010?
Based on what evidence are you giving Vista a miss?