back to article Gates teases bankers with Windows 7 dates

Bill Gates has dropped the biggest hint yet that Microsoft’s successor to its unloved operating system Windows Vista could arrive around the middle of 2009 – ahead of the firm’s original roadmap. According to reports, the Microsoft head honcho said at a meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank on Friday that Windows 7 …


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  1. Henry Cobb

    So the choices are

    Microsoft could do an even worse rushed job with their next OS than usual or they can go back to the endless bait and switch release dates.

    Or the customer base can run for the door now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    So by my calculations...

    With a 1 year late delivery and then the inevitable pass on 1.0, I'll have to wait until early 2011 for less bug-prone version 1.1 of Windows7, by which point the world will have moved further and everyone will be net-centric.

  3. David Harper

    Minimum spec for Windows 7 ...

    is a HAL-9000.

    With apologies to the late revered Arthur C Clarke.

  4. J


    Why the hurry!?

    From what I hear Vista is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Or does MS know something their staunch defenders roaming the internetz (some commenters on El Reg specially included) don't?

    But you've got a point there; in the next year or so probably means mid 2013.

  5. Fatty Treats


    ... cos rushing their last OS to market before it was ready worked like a charm!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So to combat a badly rushed OS ruining their reputation, they're going to rush out what could be a good replacement?!

    Surely they could do a decent job and just be content to release it on time- or a day early if promptness is an issue?!

    foolish MS!!

  7. b shubin

    Quiet. Too quiet.

    "Where's Webster?" did he run out of Oxycontin, and is now taking an enforced nap?

  8. Martin Owens


    If it's not called something like Jumping Jackel or Kindly Krita in 2009 it's not and operating system worth bothering with.

    And here we are on the edge of our seats waiting for Hardy in a few weeks.

  9. Ryan

    @David Harper

    Actually, they already have one build running on just 40-odd megs.

  10. Andy Barber

    Windows 7?

    Have I missed something here? I have used Windows 2, 3, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP & Vista. (The never was a Window 1 in the field)

    So we are going to go back to XP, yipee! It was the best version of Windows.

  11. Test Man

    @So by my calculations...

    Unfortunately, we won't be net centric when we have ISPs battling with people like BT regarding pricing and availaibility of bandwidth. So it won't happen anytime soon... if at all.

  12. adnim


    just can't wait. Nah, sorry won't wait.

    Unless leopards have discovered spot remover, with 20 years of developing a GUI method for operating a computer m$ have also revealed their MO.

    I would hope that windows 7 will just be an OS, nothing more, no applications, browsers, media players, DRM etc. Eye candy being an optional extra. It would do the job of an OS just the job of an OS. I Accept the line between OS and application can sometimes be blurry. But some tasks are the obvious realms of OS and others App. It would be secure out of the box, It would not require beta testing by the consumer. It would encourage the user to actually learn something about what they do, instead of spoon feeding ignorance and security risk from behind a cartoon. Oh and completely documented, fully user accessible API's would also be of great benefit. However I dream, leopards have always been spotty.

  13. Daniel du Preez


    Didn't Bill Gates actually say "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version." ? That just means there'll be a version.. an alpha/beta most probably, which leaves a year for testing.. which let's them release in 2010.. exactly in line with the "party line".

  14. Craig

    Upgrade coupons...

    Free upgrade coupon for all scmuc*cough* I mean all customers who bought Windows Vista?

    I align myself with the sensible people who figured we'd skip Windows Vista what with it being somewhat new and unpolished, wait for the more refined version of Windows to follow. I sure hope Microsoft don't drop the ball twice in a row.

  15. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    W7 minimum recommended system requirements

    Here is my guess:

    4 Core CPU, 16GB Ram, 200GB flash, stereoscopic monitor with two 1GB graphics cards, HD-DVD, keyboard, moose, internet access, credit card number and rectal scanner to confirm user is licensed.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Steve

    Re: Minimum spec for Windows 7 ...

    "is a HAL-9000.

    With apologies to the late revered Arthur C Clarke."

    You'd have to be Psychotically unhinged to install it?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    charging for a service pack?

    They seem to be getting very apple esque by charging for service packs.

    Otherwise my guess is windows 7 will "slip" till 2012.

    Microsoft=== overpromise and underdelivery

  19. Nexox Enigma

    But will it have content control?

    One of the main reasons Vista blew so hard (and probably took so long to get to market) was their evil content protection measures. Video and audio hardware and associated drivers are now much more costly and slow to develop, which is why Vista has such crappy support for those devices.

    I suspect that Windows7 will simply take advantage of the fact that people have been making vista drivers for a while now, so it will have much better support, which means it will perform far better. If the lawyers drive the development still, then I'm pretty sure MS has no chance. Hopefully they learned their lessons on that from vista.

    I tried out Win2008 recently, and I have to say that it performs far better than XP as a desktop OS. It's much faster, and, while I'm not a fan of graphical file managers, Explorer has a load of nice features. It really looks like someone actually designed some things this time, instead of just doing whatever worked first.

    Unfortunately I had to deal with pops and pauses in my music because nobody makes decent vista sound drivers, and I got about 2/3 the FPS in games that I got in XP, thanks to half-broken video drivers. And of course the CAD software (which is the sole reason for me to keep a Windows machine around any more) wouldn't run on 2k8, so now I'm back on XP.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Linux (Slackware,) but MS actually did a few things right with 2008 (and probably vista too.) They just let their development get driven by Holywood and lawyers. Maybe they just didn't think they were being evil enough without the content protection stuff.


  20. Lol Whibley

    i know for sure this will have been said before but..

    we all know how long a microsoft minute is.. does it follow a microsoft year-or-so is subject to the same degree of variation? and why are we suprised when this is found to be true?

    \sorries\coat\hat\exit stage left, tapdancing

  21. Alesia

    Feeling Pressure?

    I wonder if they are in a hurry because the Mac is now taking some market share? I use Leopard at home and Windows XP at work... and although XP works nicely, I'd seriously consider a Mac if I were stuck for years without progress in the OS.

  22. Stan

    Now where...

    ...have I heard that before? Ah yes, longhorn...and what was that cairo thing again? aren't we still waiting for that one or maybe just a few of the proposed features someday? Ok, I'll pencil in the end of the defrag for late November...2056. Excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

  23. Gulfie
    Gates Horns

    One thing is for sure...

    ... They have just killed the vista upgrade Market stone dead. After all, so support won't have ended, anyone who hasn't upgraded by now will wait another 18 months... Bet the retailers are fuming at Bill for this announcement.

  24. eddiewrenn


    a) it will never happen on time

    b) if it does, it will be rushed and not ready

    c) And suddenly Microsoft will have three OSs on the go at once (XP, Vista, 7), which I'm sure won't confuse them!

    I await with baited breah, and just hope the next version blows us away. Because if it's only Vista + some gloss we should be worried!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Before you start...

    Before the Microsoft bashing starts I would like to say that I still have my original Win95 box and maybe I'm just being sentimental but I can't bring myself to get rid of it or upgrade it. Why should I? Less than 200MB and it has given me very little trouble over the years. The sweet old thing just sits there in the closet quietly gathering dust.

    Yep, Linux fanboi.

  26. Ross Fleming

    What's it got to do with Bill?...

    Wasn't Gates promising to leave? Rather baffled that so far he seems to still be around!

    Anyway, I'd be ignoring the large hardware requirements being slung about - I've got a strong suspicion that Windows 7 is going to be largely a Hypervisor.

    Besides - can't we keep calling it Blackcomb? I'm sure Vista was the stop-gap between Whistler (XP) and Blackcomb - unfortunately it's painfully obvious that it's a stop-gap at the moment.

  27. Fluffykins Silver badge

    @ Dave Harper

    I'm sorry Dave. I can't let you do that.

  28. Plankmeister
    Thumb Up

    They should...

    ...just open-source Windows for the desktop. Then they can still sell Windows Server products and all the office apps and other assorted piles 'o' poo they peddle...

    By open-sourcing Windows, they'd - within a couple of years - have a *very* strong product free of all bloat, that pretty much everyone would use.

    Surely M$ make enough money already... Think of all the money they'd save if they didn't have to employ all those useless Windoze coders who use dubious programming techniques (Such as this one plucked from the leaked Win2k source:


    * The magnitude of this hack compares favorably with that of the national debt.)

    Open-sourcers do it for FREE!

  29. Kurt Guntheroth

    Vista SP2

    Does anybody remember when Longhorm was going to be released in 2005, and it was going to have that whizzy filesystem-is-a-database, and all that other nifty stuff? Well, welcome to Vista SP2. You'll be expected to pay for it, which is great news (for Microsoft) for a service pack. But it will have good compatibility with the previous O/S version. In 2013 when this code finally escapes from Redmond, it might actually be the O/S that Microsoft bragged it would be. Yeah, 8 years late, but maybe worth the wait. Well, I'm waiting, anyway.

    The penguin, because if you need a new O/S before 2013, he's always there.

  30. Julian
    IT Angle

    Windows NT6.1 (Windows 7)

    I have seen screen shots of Windows 7 build 6519 on Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Its labelled Windows 6.1. Since Vista is 6.0 it safe to assume that it will be a revised build of Vista. Possibly more stable (it would be hard to be worse) with some of the features they jettisoned on Vista to get it out in err time! procrastination aside I expect Microsoft will release Windows 7 more or less on time as they have less work to do.

  31. N

    And also have to buy

    At least 8 SLi graphics cards with water cooling

    A one megawatt power supply (but hey its OK cos its 85% efficient when run flat out)

    A terrbyte of ram

    A petabyte of disk space

    three weeks to install & right at the last little bit it goes...

    Windows has encountered errors and needs to shut down or some inane message like:

    You need to install 256 million updates as your PC is 5 minutes out of date...

    The license you just forked out for & activated is not recognised, Enjoy the new Microsoft experience by paying twice. Windows is now running in reduced functionality mode and switches off...

    Why tolerate this hapless junk?

  32. Jeff Davies

    Andy - there was a Windows 1 - it was called "Windows 286 and Windows 386"

    There were 2 versions of Windows 1: Windows/286 and Windows/386.

    Windows/286 ran on a 286 with 1meg of RAM.

    It had notepad and calc and paint as I recall, and Program manager, task manager,

    and a DOS windows. I don't know if anything else was written at the time to run under it.

  33. kain preacher


    did I read that differently then every one else ?? I thought the article said it could, not that it would. Silly me think that the phrase could be released on this date is not a definite resale date. The odds of it shipping in mid 09 is low in my opinion.

  34. Damien Jorgensen
    Gates Halo

    Microsoft Rules

    F**K OSX and that Linux FAD


  35. Julian

    @@So by my calculations...

    I made a simliar comment last year and had scorn heaped upon me.

  36. Charles Manning

    Vista rushed out the door?

    Really? 5 years or so is a rush?

    Anything that takes 5 years to develop and still does not work properly is fundamentally broken. They had to ship Vista just to get it out the way so that they could focus on doing the next one right. The alternative was to just delete everything and start again from scratch - which would have annoyed shareholders no end.

    The biggest problem MS really faces is that XP is probably "good enough" for most people and MS just does not understand how to add eye candy in a meaningful way. It is really hard to follow up on a success when you have no real clue how you can do better.

    Touting a non-existant OS version really does make Vista look bad: "We dropped the ball, but might be able to find it again in a year or so." In the past MS have only done this when they've got something new to sell. eg. When they released XP they went on about how terrible W98 was. They tried this with Vista too, but the backlash was bad.

  37. J

    Re: Quiet. Too quiet.

    But does Webster haunt Windows-related stories too? I thought he was just to be found wherever that red fruit was mentioned... (don't say it out loud)

  38. Jeremy
    Thumb Down

    Yeah right...

    "Windows 7" by mid 2009 ? Yeah right, I'll believe that when I see it... Furthermore, Microsoft doing a rush job does not inspire any confidence at all, since even if they did deliver 'something' in mid 2009 I'd expect it to be swiss cheese and ripe for exploits... Forget it.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The good news

    Bill's comment makes a wonderful counter to all those Vista-boosting "computer enthusiast" users....

    instead of "no you can't have Vista on your office machine" we can now say:

    "Bill Gates says that Windows 7 is just around the corner so there's no point in installing Vista when something better is on the way"

    That kind of user has never clued in to the fact that vendors are, aah, *creative* when it comes to announcements about future products.

    BTW, the "7" is because it's the 7th revision of Windows *NT* (did NT v1 & 2 ever exist, or were they just totally unsaleable?). The original Windows line ended with Me.

  40. b shubin

    Smells like teen spirit

    @ J

    Phreaky is with us, if only in spirit. see Damien Jorgensen, 3rd post above yours.

    and i'd have to say "it" 3 times, if he was asleep. that always summons him, and he comes out roaring, like a hibernating bear woken before his time.

  41. kain preacher

    @By Anonymous Coward

    id NT v1 & 2 ever exist yes it was called OS/2 v1 and v2

  42. John
    Thumb Down

    Sorry, too late Bill

    After years using Windows, my next OS, after XP, will NOT be from M$

  43. Anonymous Coward

    cavemen and windows

    @Damien Jorgenson

    F**K OSX and that Linux FAD


    Congratulations, you just won the cyber-neanderthal award. There's nothing like a well considered opinion and what you said was nothing like a well considered opinion.

    Moving on...

    Here's what I remember - MS had to drop loads of the "features" of Vista because it was "too hard to make them work right". Some/all of the MS people emailed BG and said "we need to start again and build the new Windows from the ground up". This also turned out to be too hard.

    Pressure from the Market Regulators resulted in MS releasing Vista when it was little more than a grotesque graphic layer added to the Server2003 code base with the ever present security nag screens added to offset the terminal stupidity of most Windows users. "I can't believe the OS is asking me if I'm sure I trust and want to run the software I just installed, how retarded is that?"

    Windows will never be what it claims to be, and what OSX and especially Linux already is, secure by design. Because Microsoft are too proud and too stiff necked to admit the Unix model is best and copy it. So they'll release version after version of hopelessly insecure OS's and the security industry will continue to make bazillions off the back of it.

    Prediction: At some point MS will turn up and say "the new windows is on our servers, you need only have a network connection (and a weekly fully paid up subscription) to access it".

    The resultant laughter will be heard all over the earth.

    Some hapless fools will actually use this new Software as a Service version of Windows which will turn out to be so badly designed that the MS servers will begin to crash, blue screen and lose data.

    This will be blamed on Linux and terrorists.

  44. Tim Bates
    Jobs Horns

    Re: What's it got to do with Bill?...

    Yes.... Bill did leave. But everyone at MS started calling him and telling on Ballmer, so he keeps having to go back... Something about needing to spank the monkey.

  45. Lars Silver badge

    New name, same codebase.

    Microsoft wants to get rid of the Vista name: Windows was better, right.

    But Windows 7 will only be Vista with some rubbish deleted and probably some new rubbish added. Some new icons but basically Vista SP3-4.

    The nice thing about it is that they can again sell it as a new OS.

    Now perhaps even deliver it in time (or something).

    Next, Gartner and others, will tell you that moving to Windows 7 will be so much easier (and so wonderful) if you do it from Vista and not XP.

    And while you are waiting (again) , Linux on the desktop, is surpassing Windows in every possible way.

  46. Ascylto

    It's here already!

    Windows 7 is already in use!

    BA are using it (Premium Edition) for baggage handling at T5 Heathrow.

    (Mines the one with the Kool Aid bottle in the right-hand pocket)

  47. Mark Rendle

    I want my beta!

    My, but there are a lot of negative Nancies on the Reg today. Personally, I quite like Vista, although I was disappointed that some of the promised features got dropped. Of course, a lot of the Vista features were also made available for XP SP2 and Server 2003 R2 (WPF, WCF, WF), which may have negated the need to upgrade, but they were still part of the Vista development.

    Anyway, I'm going to maintain a childlike enthusiasm for 7 until something concrete happens to disappoint me. Weird, I know, but I reckon I'll be happier on average that way.

    Things that enthuse me so far: MinWin, a Windows kernel with a basic webserver running in 40 megs; rumours that WinFS will be in this time (cautious optimism there); Hypervisor on the desktop. I've already got my beta hardware picked out...

  48. Giles Jones Gold badge

    7 will just be a reheated Vista

    In fact, 7 will just be a finished version of Vista with the features Microsoft planned to include but had to remove due to their incompetent project management and lack of structure.

  49. James Prior

    2009/2010 is possible

    Considering Windows 7 Milestone 1 has already been released to the big MS partners (as per BBC News yesterday).

  50. Sergiu Panaite

    Are you serious...?

    All the *nix fanbois out there, do you really mean it? If so, wow..

    I have to say, I don't LIKE Windows as such, in fact it's a pretty poor excuse for a cutting-edge OS (and I'm talking about XP - my current install has lasted me about four years, through two complete hardware changes). Sure, it's starting to get slow and has inexplicable bugs, but at least I can fix most of them. On top of that, I can play games. And if I would be an ordinary user, I would surely appreciate how relatively easy it is to use/install/etc. Of course a lot of this is so because M$ have people firmly by the b@lls, there's no denying that.

    I tried Ubuntu 7.10 recently, and it just didn't satisfy me. Sure, it was free, it did things well, the package manager actually works, and there's plenty of free software for it - but I still can't play my games on it, and it won't recognise some of my more "special" hardware unless I'm willing to really get my hands dirty (which I am, but I'm not a "normal" user).

    So honestly, please stop trying to shove *nix (or even MacOS) down people's throats when they're still not suitable for a large chunk of the audience. I'm sure they'll get there, it'll just take a wee bit longer - say, maybe until mid-2009?

  51. alan
    Thumb Down

    That's another fine mess

    you got us into Steve...

    When the grand opening of Windows 7 finaly arrives, they should just have the Laurel & Hardy music playing in the background as the curtain rises over the shiny box for the first time.

    It will sell better from the word go if it says "Windows 7 with SP1 built-in!"

  52. Steve


    > did NT v1 & 2 ever exist?

    Yes. NT v1 was called RSX/11M+, and NT v2 was called VMS.

    Then Microsoft got hold of the author and the rest is, as always, a very sad history.

    The blue one, please, with the 11/750 boot tape in the pocket.

  53. Dale

    OS X for windows anyone?

    Isn't right about now the time for apple to start making a killing selling an OS upgrade to PC users?

    I for one wont be upgrading anything I own to Vista or Win07 after the debacle I've had with work machines.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    >>cutting-edge OS (...XP...) ...slow and has inexplicable bugs

    @Sergiu Panaite - So it's alright to shove THAT down people's throats? Oh right you can play games. Using Windows is also a bit like a playing hopscotch in a minefield....

    Mine's the one with the oral forceps and funnel in the right pocket...

  55. Tom Cooke

    Tape for 11/750?

    Oh, you make me cry, how long is it since I booted one of those babies?

  56. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    So Vista SP2 comes out just before Windows 7....

    Hmmm... I see a timing flaw in this.

    Vista is dead and buried, if you are in the UK it is horrendously overpriced and no one likes it except a few strange people that like misery and hardship... Like those in Yorkshire. (You know who you are)

    If they are saying this then people will wait till windows 7 now. Although some are still waiting till sp2 for vista to make that jump.

    If that (sp2) kicks out in the usual "wait another year" time scale then we are too close for people to buy Vista.

    MS have to realise that comments like this will bury development and market take up of an already limp OS.

    It will also put the whole world in a "This OS better work Gates" frame of mind, if windows 7 pans then MS are in serious trouble. They have little credibility after Vista and home server, which are poor on any scale. Windows 7 needs to be all singing and all dancing.

    @Damian Jorgensen

    MS rocks.... bless.

  57. Matthew

    Vista: aftermath

    I have just taken delivery of a new PC, with Vista pre-installed. I was all ready to wipe it and 'upgrade' to my trusty copy of XP but I thought I'd leave it for a week or so just to see how bad it was...

    My dislike was based on a very early Vista release running on my old upgraded-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life Pentium IV. But you know what? On a new box it's actually nowhere near as bad as some folks here suggest. And a year on from release, most hardware now seems to be OK: I've found no driver problems (which was a very different experience to my first trial of Vista). Service Packs and patches sem to have mopped up a lot of the early trouble, just as happened with XP. In fact, there are enough features I like that I'll probably keep it.

    It appears I may have been wrong about Vista. I've used Macs and several flavours of Linux in my time so I hope I'm reasonably well-informed about the alternatives. I accept it is resource-hungry by comparison but there do seem to be sufficient compensations. I can see why MS are rushing out a new version: the negative opinions seem so entrenched.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Re:Windows 7?

    @Andy Barber

    "Have I missed something here? I have used Windows 2, 3, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP & Vista. (The never was a Window 1 in the field)

    So we are going to go back to XP, yipee! It was the best version of Windows."

    OK, let's go over this.

    2000 and XP were part of the 32-bit Windows NT range.

    Windows NT started at v3 (to match the current 16 bit Windows version). The version history of the NT range is NT3, NT4, Win2K (NT5), WinXP.

    Now, looking at the 16 bit range over the same timeframe:

    Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and ME.

    Windows 95 was launched around the same time as NT4 -- it is 16-bit Windows 4.

    The full name of Windows ME is "Windows 98 Millenium Edition", so it is only a sub-version upgrade to 98.

    But 98 is really just 95 with proper support for USB etc, and I think is still identified as Windows 4 somewhere in the code.

    Vista is neither a direct descendant of the NT code-base or the 16-bit codebase: it is a whole new collection of bugs, and it is classified here as Windows 6, so WinXP is exposed as a version of Windows NT 5: it is merely a polished and rebadged Windows 2000.

    So I don't see what you're getting at.

    However, I do wonder what the law makes of the price Microsoft charged for a mere sub-version upgrade (2000-XP, when 2000 reached end-of-support)...?

  59. Stan

    Have they actualy got something right?

    What? A 40mb system proposed by MS? Not another 'new, improved windows with extra bloat and added pretty colors'? A system stripped to the point that they can re-build it from the with ground up as a multiuser system with rights and privileges as per the industry standard for a secure OS? Well if they do I for one will be a little shocked. Sure, they would be copying a model that was in use long before windows was a wiggly thing but its a model that works. Maybe next time I hear 'The most secure windows ever' I might not piss myself laughing. 'Corse, 'microsoft makes every effort to insure interoperability between systems' will still bring on the painfull sides and damp trousers.

  60. scott

    why bother

    As an enterprise desktop, XP is good enough. Vista has some good features for enterprise laptop users – but nothing that Checkpoint etc weren’t offering already.

    So, for all those VLEs in the midst of looking at Vista – why bother? Cancel the projects and sit on your XP install base for another couple of years. Enterprise support for XP is there until 2010.

    On the humorous side – do you think W7 will have inbuilt features such at Temporal Machine and WindowSpaces? Former will be a snazzy backup app and the latter will be a new virtualised desktop.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Credit Crunch :-/

    These days, perhaps a group of bankers should be called a "wunch"

  62. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Is it just me

    Or is there an uncomfortable similarity between pictures of Mr Gates and one Afred E Neuman?

    What, me worry?

  63. Anonymous Coward

    The banking community...

    You mean the hints were dropped to a very large and wealthy community of bankers who more often than not found Vista a little unpalatable, wanted to XP while contemplating a switch to other platforms with or without virtualized dumb terminals. Also the same set of bankers who are buying bucket loads of Wintel servers at atill quite high cost per unit, during a credit crunch, they are wondering why they need a license that costs almost as much a the hardware, while the alternatives are free and a support a fraction of the cost?

    Now Bill cannot think we are gullible enough to think that MS can ship on time, so wet the appetite of "the purses" so they don't think they are being left high and dry with Vista aka Windows ME v2.0!

    Nice one Bill. Sorry mate but you o/s offerings just don't do it for me anymore, nothing personal mate but our futures lie in different directions, so long and thanks for all the bugs!

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    and their vistaids and windows seven can shuve it.

    I keep looking at machines and thinking "hmm that's not bad for £400 it could do everything I o wait vistaids..."

  65. Peter Kay

    Windows versions

    Just to clear things up..

    There was a Windows 1.0, then Windows 2.0, then Windows/286 and Windows/386. After that was Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.1 for Workgroups, 95, 98, ME (plus various SE versions and some oddities)

    NT was originally planned to grow out of the OS/2 project - it was designed to be OS/2 v3. In reality, although there is some OS/2 code in NT (some Lan Manager, the now defunct OS/2 subsystem), the main design is by Dave Cutler from a Digital operating system called Prism.

    NT 3.1 was released in 1993. It was followed by 3.5/3.51, 4.0 (NT with 95 interface), 5.0 (Windows 2000), 6.0 (XP/Windows 2003) and 7.0 (Vista/Windows 2008). If you count up the releases that adds up to six. Thus, Windows 7 is next.

    The problem is that Vista's issues are not technical, as such. Whilst there have undoubtedly been stability and resource issues, more issues have been due to the inability of third parties to produce decent drivers (I'm looking at you, Creative Labs and Nvidia) and the fact that Vista breaks applications by being more secure (you know, what people asked for - except it isn't what they actually want).

    This will *not* be fixed by Windows 7. Perhaps Windows Veranda will be more streamlined and a bit more stable, have a few less annoying UAC popups and more stable drivers. However, the UAC will still be there (you want security : you got it..), your applications will still be broken unless Windows 7 sticks pure XP in a VM (with associated compatibility and performance penalties) and it will still depend on third party drivers not sucking - which on current form isn't likely (stop fscking around with 3D shit, and give me rock solid 2D, ta Nvidia et al).

  66. Anonymous Coward


    Fat chance of an OS that is just an OS.

    It would be a fantastic idea though - with everything else purchaseable in modules or add ons or downloads, patches etc.

  67. Pete Mallam
    Gates Horns

    Windows Versions.... The end!

    @Re:Windows 7?

    To extend on what you were saying, windows 2000 is Windows 5.0 and Windows XP is Windows 5.1 (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\CurrentVersion=5.1)

    As for "Polished" I'm not overly convinced about that. It's based on the same code, but rather than polished XP was diverged somewhat. A fresh new GUI (similar to the GUI updates for Windows 95 that 98 came with... Thanks to IE Integration) and some minor code deviations. It IS a new revision of the version.

  68. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    I think it's pretty much a cert if 2008 Server is anything to go by

  69. Daniel B.

    Oh, now I get it...

    Now I get why its called "Windows 7", even if we do seem to count more versions.

    Remember the 9x branch was axed, so the "real version" branch is that of NT. In this one:

    Win2000 = NT 5

    WinXP = NT 5.1

    Vista = NT 6.0

    ... does this mean they'll release Windows 7 as, err.... NT 7.0 ? Anyway, if anything, Ross Fleming said it well:

    "I'm sure Vista was the stop-gap between Whistler (XP) and Blackcomb."

    Yes it is. Vista is the new ME, and as crappy as ME was.

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