Windows 7--the successor to Windows Vista and whose codename was first revealed here in WinInfo back in January--is now on the docket for 2010, Microsoft says. Contrary to prior reports, Windows 7, previously code-named Vienna, will be a major Windows release and will ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants for both consumers and businesses. This suggests that Microsoft's intention to move entirely to the 64-bit x64 codebase is proceeding slower than hoped.
At a partner conference earlier this month, Microsoft hinted that it would put the Windows client on the same type of release schedule as Windows Server, with a major release every four years interspersed by minor updates at the two-year point between each major release. Given Vista's 2006 release date, a 2010 nod for Windows 7 makes sense, since it's now considered a major release. But Microsoft won't say whether we can expect a minor Windows update first, in 2008. The company does say that Vista SP1 will ship in that year, however.
The few new details we have about Windows 7 came during Microsoft's annual sales conference late last week in Orlando. The company is apparently researching whether it can offer Windows 7 to customers on a subscription basis as well as the more typical enterprise licensing, retail, and PC bundle options. Windows 7 is the internal codename for the next major release of Windows, Microsoft notes, and the name is subject to change. The Windows 7 codename reflects the fact that this release is indeed Windows 7.0 (Vista was Windows 6.0).
If you're looking for more information on Windows 7, please check out my Windows 7 FAQ. It's early yet, but I'll continue updating the FAQ as more information becomes available.