Microsoft has said it plans to ship Windows 7, Vista's successor, sometime in 2010, speculation flared earlier this week that the vendor may be planning to move up the release to sometime in the second half of 2009. Some sources claimed that Microsoft has already shipped an early test version of Windows 7 to an elite strike force of testers.
The appearance of a Windows 7-focused blog earlier this month -- purportedly the work of an anonymous Microsoft employee -- has fueled the fires of an already white-hot rumor mill. Some sources have even postulated that the blog could be a stealth effort by Microsoft's own marketing team to start creating intrigue around Windows 7.
Microsoft partners have expressed interest in Windows 7 because it will reportedly be based on MinWin, a scaled down version of the Windows core that will also serve as the framework for Windows Server and Windows Media Center.
Microsoft, for its part, had this to say about Windows 7: "We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and expect the development to take approximately 3 years since the release of Windows Vista. The specific release date will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release," said the spokesperson.
Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows Seven, Win7, MinWin