Microsoft is hard at work aiming to prevent the Windows 7 apple proverbially falling close to the Windows Vista tree. In fact, Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President, Online Services & Windows Business Group, promised that that incompatibility issues would not be among the legacy that Vista leaves for Windows 7. Otherwise, the next version of the Windows client will inherent the vast majority of the architecture of its predecessor, most importantly the core of Vista. But, in addition to the kernel, Windows 7 will also feature the same graphics and audio subsystems as Windows Vista, context in which existing hardware and software products will continue to be compatible.
"You've let us know you don't want to face the kinds of incompatibility challenges with the next version of Windows you might have experienced early with Windows Vista. As a result, our approach with Windows 7 is to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista so the investments you and our partners have made in Windows Vista will continue to pay off with Windows 7. Our goal is to ensure the migration process from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is straightforward," Veghte stated.
This is, in fact, Microsoft's vision: Windows Vista will be a transition operating system, streamlining the migration to Windows 7. Officially planned for availability within three years since Vista hit the shelves on January 30, 2007, Windows 7 is heading for a more realistic launch date at the end of 2009, but ahead of the holiday season.
"You have told us you want a more regular, predictable Windows release schedule. To this end, our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately 3 years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista," Veghte added.
But at the same time, Microsoft is not ready or showing any signs that it will become ready in the immediate future to share more about Vista's successor. Apart from a few details which have been made public, Windows 7 is surrounded in a shroud of secrecy, referred to as the translucency policy of Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group. Veghte indicated that Microsoft is interested in user input about Windows 7, a very difficult task since the first public taste of the operating system doesn't appear to be very close, even with the client planned for launch by the end of the next year.
"Some of you may have heard about "Windows 7", which is the working name for the next release of Microsoft Windows. We have learned a great deal through the feedback you have shared with us about Windows Vista and that feedback is playing an important role in our work on Windows 7," he said.