Microsoft: Windows 7 isn’t due next year

A number of media sources have picked up on a statement Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made last week that suggested Windows 7 might show up next year. According to News.com, Gates asserted, "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version" when discussing Windows Vista at a meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank in Miami.

If past Windows development cycles weren’t already a strong enough indicator that Gates was misunderstood, Microsoft has spoken to both BBC News and EE Times to say Windows 7 is not, in fact, due out next year. To BBC News, a spokesperson for the software maker explained that Gates was alluding to a pre-release version of the future operating system. EETimes, meanwhile, received a statement from Microsoft reiterating that Windows 7 development is expected to take three years counting from Vista’s January 30, 2007 retail launch.

For those unfamiliar with Windows development time frames, Windows XP beta testing alone took almost a year, and Vista’s testing period spanned about a year and three months. Meanwhile, Microsoft stated last month (and repeated again to EE Times last week) that the Windows 7 development process is currently in its "planning stages."

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    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    Since I do not game very much anymore and have so far skipped ALL of the major game releases from the holiday season in 2007 (and beyond), I think it’s safe to say that I can hang on to Windows XP until the next iteration of Windows comes out.

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    if that’s not undermining your leader and CEO, i don’t know what is.

    once was a time that Bill Gates said something was going to happen and MOUNTAINS moved to make it possible.

      • Forge
      • 12 years ago

      The problem is that BillG and reality as Joe 6 knows it rarely overlap. BillG is talking like a developer/beta test lemming and referring to alphas/betas as the OS, while Joe 6 (and most people) only start talking about an OS being ‘out’ when it RTMs/hits retail.

      BillG is talking about code getting into the hands of geeks.
      Microsoft as a whole is talking about RTM/retail launch.

        • PeterD
        • 12 years ago

        That’s true.
        Moreover, even saying that people were waiting for Vista is geeks-talk. Nobody in his right mind really wants a new OS, because it only means spending money. Even if OS’es are important for you company, if you have the same OS as another company, it does not matter whether that OS is bad or not, because both of you have a bad OS.
        So, why bother about when a new one arrives?

          • Master Kenobi
          • 12 years ago

          It’s no good to stagnate and get used to something for too long. When change does eventually come, and it will, you will be in that much more trouble. I tend to like having a new OS release though, always neat to pick around and see what’s different.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 12 years ago

    Windows 7 will be showing up by next year: as very early dev builds. We won’t be seeing beta or RC releases for some time.

    Vista is a stepping stone for Windows 7: it has a newer kernel that should help reduce problems related to drivers and the concept of UAC.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    It’s a major piece of software. Unless they’re in the last ~90 days of the beta process, /[

    • Vaughn
    • 12 years ago

    Actually Mr. Duck they did. The mass media is a bunch of noobs not TR regulars. We all knew that date was bogus!

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Why are we in a hurry to replace OSes like Apple users that pay $129 for the privilege of installing what are little more than annual service packs?

    What is wrong with a five-year lifecycle on an OS?

      • BenBasson
      • 12 years ago

      If Microsoft wants to release often with small, incremental upgrades, I have no real problem with that, I just won’t bother buying every single version that comes out. I skipped right over Windows 2000 to XP, and if I didn’t have a free copy of Vista Business laying around, I’d consider skipping it for Windows 7.

      This isn’t going to affect anyone, really. Businesses lag behind a lot anyway, enthusiasts are a tiny market and know what they’re doing, and OEM system buyers will just get whatever they’re given and stick with it until it breaks.

      • leor
      • 12 years ago

      apple’s updates are a lot more than service packs. they tend to have a lot of new features and improvements.

      i just installed vista SP1 and I’m still trying to figure out what i got out of it.

        • Deli
        • 12 years ago

        Service Packs traditionally do not install more features into the OS. More like a rollup and then some into one neat package. XP SP2 was definitely an exception.

      • bozzunter
      • 12 years ago

      Why are we in a hurry to replace OSes like Apple users that pay $129 for the privilege of installing what are little more than annual service packs?

      What is wrong with a five-year lifecycle on an OS?

      You know, for MS you’re worth more than gold. Keep on thinking that Apple releases service packs instead of an OS which, let’s take one released in 2002-3, has dozens of more features that Vista and gives amazing results from a productive point of view – you’ll be happy with your XP, Microsoft will be happy as you don’t bother checking what you claim and will go on buying their Windows.

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 12 years ago

        Why bother with either of them when you can install Ubuntu Linux? The Wifi (for laptops) and sound (for Xi-Fi cards) need work, but on the bright side, it is free.

      • DaveJB
      • 12 years ago

      What would you rather have though – a small-ish update every 18 months that improves all the main features of the OS and mostly keeps compatibility, or a major update every 4-5 years that totally changes the look and feel of the OS and breaks compatibility with half of your old apps?

    • Saber Cherry
    • 12 years ago

    XP is the first good mainstream OS Microsoft has released. I have no problem waiting until they manage to release another one… unless Linux manages to become a user-friendly gamer OS in the meantime.

      • Grigory
      • 12 years ago

      “unless Linux manages to become a user-friendly gamer OS in the meantime.”

      §[<http://www.hertfordshire.freeserve.co.uk/ActivistsExposed/FlyingPigs.jpg<]§

        • BenBasson
        • 12 years ago

        Ubuntu is already making Linux pretty user friendly, anyone who’s naysaying the user-friendliness these days probably doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. The installer beats XP’s hands down, and it comes bundled with most worthwhile open source applications that you’re likely to care about.

        For gaming, there’s Wine, where you may have some limited success, but this is going to be a problem as long as DirectX exists and is used.

          • Saber Cherry
          • 12 years ago

          I’m certainly aware of the rumors, but I’ve never seen Ubuntu in action and won’t bother trying it out until 8.04 is released. The bigger problem is gaming. If it can’t run most games, I will never boot into Linux except when I need to do programming that requires a 64-bit environment.

          Direct X is not really that big of a barrier, there is just no group of people who want to provide good DX emulation in Unix. A $10m donation from EA Games + nVidia and a year of work is probably all it would take for DX9.

            • BenBasson
            • 12 years ago

            I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You can use the OS straight from CD and then if you like it, install it… while using it. I always wondered why the Windows installer didn’t launch Solitaire or something to help you pass the time, but with Ubuntu you can take your pick from any app or browse the web during installation.

            8.04 does better at wireless networking on my old laptop and on a friend’s laptop than Windows does, seeing as it doesn’t require any third-party drivers to be installed for the PCMCIA adapter to function and connected first time once the WPA key was inserted. It also doesn’t randomly disconnect like my old XP laptop does.

            I confess, I don’t know a lot about the gaming side of things, but my Linux using friend claims that it’s not too bad with Wine. Most of my Linux use is either server, VM or horrid-old-laptop-based.

            I’m still going to be primarily using XP or Vista for the forseeable future, but Ubuntu is very nice. Most of the good rumours are true, and it’s surprising how far Linux has come in the last few years.

            • Forge
            • 12 years ago

            And about 50$ and 30 minutes from MS to change the DirectX ‘standard’ enough to invalidate all the work done.

            You really can’t hit moving targets repeatedly. Even if Wine magically acheived 100% binary compatibility tomorrow, MS would release patches breaking it minutes or maybe hours later.

            They have their Monopoly game in full swing, and you just can’t overcome an early leader in that game, unless they’re asleep and/or actively working against themselves.

            • WaltC
            • 12 years ago

            Actually, I think you maybe have inadvertently described what makes Microsoft so loathed by the companies which deem themselves its competitors. What you see as Microsoft’s “Monopoly game” I see from a different perspective, and that is that Microsoft is ultra-competitive. What you see as a “moving target” I see as a continuous effort to improve its products. Most companies want to hang out a shingle and sell the same software year after year and rake in profits in perpetuity. But along comes Microsoft constantly and consistently raising the bar and improving its products, and that sort of competition just ruins it for Microsoft’s competitors who want to do nothing more except to milk the software they’ve already written–forever, basically.

            What they hate is that Microsoft makes that sort of perpetual milking pretty much impossible for them as the longer they delay R&D on improving their own software the further behind Microsoft they fall. Thus, ironically, Microsoft is loathed by most other software companies because it is ultra-competitive, and few other software companies have either the will or the desire to compete. That’s precisely what I saw happen to Netscape several years ago, even though before the first line of IE code was written, Netscape enjoyed nearly a 100% monopoly on mainstream desktop browser software. The minute Netscape perceived that Microsoft was intent on providing direct competition to Netscape’s browser products that was the minute that Barksdale threw up his hands and went screaming to Congress about how unfair it was that Netscape should have to compete for market share with Microsoft. Netscape wanted *the whole* pie and thought that it was just so “unfair” of Microsoft not to simply cede the browser market to them and be content to play in what Netscape saw as Microsoft’s “proper” back yard.

            Of course, that consumers in the mainstream would now have more choices in terms of browser software was completely irrelevant to Netscape, because, again, Netscape thought that it “should” have it all and that Netscape “deserved” to have it all. Microsoft disagreed and the rest is history. And then Mozilla arose from the ashes of Netscape and sets its corporate mind on competing with IE instead of complaining about IE and that, too, is history. FireFox is doing far better against IE because FireFox chooses to compete with IE instead of invoking the sort of spurious and ineffectual “government aid” that Netscape sought and received–to Netscape’s everlasting detriment.

            So, as I see it, the central problem that Microsoft’s competitors have had to deal with is the ultra-competitive nature of the company. If, like Mozilla, they can deal with that aspect and face Microsoft directly, they can win by producing better products. Otherwise, if like Netscape they choose to run around screaming “Monopoly!” and doing little else, then like Netscape they, too, will inherit obscurity. That’s my take on the whole thing in a nutshell.

            • indeego
            • 12 years ago

            Microsoft’s sole vision is a combination of what will maintain them marketshare, and what will customers salivate over.

            The problem with the latter is many customers are short sighted, and maintaining their *[

            • Flying Fox
            • 12 years ago

            Virtualization is your friend, allowing you to try things out to your heart’s content without fear of losing your work machine and data.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 12 years ago

          The real problem isn’t directx, as I think wine already does a good job with dx9, but with copy protection.

            • CB5000
            • 12 years ago

            I would say the wine does an OK job with dx9. It does a good job of DX8 and earlier. Dx9 is still clunky and performance is abysmal compared to XP. I was getting about 60% less FPS in wine compared to XP, and most modern graphics heavy games like crysis are unplayable or fails to even load. A lot of times you’ll end up getting tons of graphical artifacts in these graphics demanding games. But if you’re into playing world of warcraft or even better, diablo II wine does a good job at those. Check out §[<http://appdb.winehq.org/<]§ if anyone is interested in what wine runs and doesn't run well.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 12 years ago

      I kinda liked Win95/Plus! myself. It was huge! Then again, Win2 came with a better game then Win3.1, but Freecell is the bomb. Vista is all about the SpiderSolitare, tho Win2k could play it too if you burrowed it from an XP install. lol

        • PeterD
        • 12 years ago

        My preference untill now is W98. But that was not a choice induced by the games. I’m only talking about the OS.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      Win2K was good and “mainstream” enough for me. I installed the RTM version almost right away. XP I waited for SP1 to install on my box. I upgraded my brother’s box from Win2K only after SP2.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 12 years ago

    as to be expected. did anyone actually believe Microsoft would release a new OS this soon after?

      • Helmore
      • 12 years ago

      Why not, they have done so with Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP….
      I don’t have any knowledge on how it was before 95 though, but that is quite irrelevant.

        • ludi
        • 12 years ago

        Actually, it’s more like every two years for a new major release, the noteable exception being some of the overlap that occurred around the time of WinMe. And WinMe was basically a 98SE point release with a WDM and System Restore proving ground installed, before those features were released in a more reliable form on XP.

        Wikipedia has a good timeline chart:

        §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows<]§

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