Microsoft next operating system, Windows 7, is set to be launched by Christmas 2009, Microsoft Direrctor Doug Howe seemed to confirm during a presentation given last Thursday at the company's WinHEC conference.
Howe told Cnet's Ina Fried that "the holiday focus is going to be on 7" which seems to be a reasonable time frame given that the beta version of the operating system should be ready before this forthcoming Christmas.
Microsoft current stance on Windows 7 launched had been that the OS would be launched by September 2010, more than three years after Windows Vista was launched.
Slashing the "time to market" of Vista's successor is widely seen as a way to bring Microsoft back in the limelight and wipe out any criticisms that Vista attracted.
Microsoft has already committed $300 million to a massive advertising campaign to improve the general perception of its current operating system.
Altogether Windows 7 should be a different beast; faster, simpler and less bloated than Windows Vista, requiring a maximum of 8GB of disk space only.
Also during the WinHEC conference, Microsoft senior lead program manager Leon Braginski said that Windows 7 will run on netbooks and that 16GB worth of storage space should be enough.
He did not reveal whether Microsoft will be releasing a Windows 7 specifically for Netbooks but did confirm that Windows 7 will not support booting from USB flash drives (but will from SSD).