According to reports it looks possible that the next big upgrade to the Windows OS, the fabled Windows 7, could arrive much earlier than expected. Within the next 12 months even. And who is responsible for making this prediction? None other than Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates himself, apparently.
If this is true then it means the development schedules that have been bandied about up to now have undergone a radical rethink.
The News.com article suggests that Gates responded to a question about Vista asked at a speech to the Inter-American development Bank and is quoted as saying "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version" and went on to refer to Windows 7 by adding "I'm super-enthused about what it will do in lots of ways."
Don't get too excited though, because the same story carries word that just 24 hours before a Microsoft representative told CNET that it expected to ship the Vista successor about three years on from the Vista debut in January 2007. Do the math, either Microsoft has got the dates wrong or Gates slipped up. My guess is on the latter.