Microsoft has been very cagey about Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista that is set for a 2010 release. Theories about the company's silence on Windows 7 are numerous, but most point directly to Microsoft senior vice president Steven Sinofsky, the man most directly responsible for Windows development. That's because Sinofsky is close-lipped and calculated, in direct contrast to his predecessor, Jim Allchin. This week, however, Sinofsky and company opened the doors and offered a brief peek at Windows 7 for the first time. A very brief peek.
In fact, if I understand the company's motives, what Microsoft really wanted to do was communicate the fact that it's getting ready to communicate about Windows 7. "We're focused today on how we're going to communicate things," Sinofksy told CNET, during a lengthy and sometimes contentious interview in which he quite specifically didn't say anything concrete about Windows 7 at all.
In fact, Sinofsky arguably muddied the waters, as did Microsoft's Chris Flores in a not-so-coincidentally timed post to the Windows Vista Blog. Both men claimed that Windows 7 would be a "major" or "significant" version of Windows, but both then went to great lengths to describe how the technical underpinnings of the system of Windows 7 are based on Windows Vista and will thus not incur any additional compatibility headaches. That, dear reader, is how Microsoft typically defines a minor, or R2 ("release 2") version of Windows.
Beyond this semantic nightmare, Microsoft is offering nothing of substance. The company noted yet again that Windows 7 is still due three years after the general availability of Windows Vista, which still puts the release date in very early 2010. That's been common knowledge for quite some time now.
I've blogged about the Sinofsky and Flores "revelations" on the SuperSite Blog, but to be honest, once you parse out the actual bits of information what you'll discover is that there's not much "there" there.