There has been widespread debate and guessing games about when Microsoft would choose to release Windows 7. Rumours from a week ago suggested that 2009 release was being targeted, but now it seems 2011 is more than likely instead.

Early reports suggested that some time in 2010 was the planned release date for Windows 7, Microsoft’s next operating system, designed to right all the obvious wrongs with the current Windows Vista.

Then, just over a week ago, rumours started to emerge over a roadmap towards release which brought the date forward to 2009. That obviously lead to speculation over whether the build was being rushed because Vista hasn’t performed to both sales, and satisfaction expectations.

Now, the picture has become even more murky and confusing, with The Inquirer reporting that WinVistaClub has received an email from Microsoft denying the rumours completely.

According to their contact:

“Windows 7 is still in the planning stage and will take approximately three years to develop.”

Which if taken literally, would mean we’re looking at a 2011 release at the earliest. Especially when you take in to account the internal and pre-release testing.

But, should we take it literally? CRN have a different quote from a Microsoft spokesman which further muddies the water:

“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,”

Three years from the release of Vista would date it at around, hmm, yep, 2009. So who to believe, and how important is a new version of the Microsoft OS anyway?

Vista certainly isn’t capturing anyone’s imagination, and I think the sooner Microsoft get a replacement out on the streets the better. Without rushing it of course, MS need to get Windows 7 built, tested and released before Linux starts becoming more user friendly, and taking potential customers from it.

My guess would be Windows 7 released to stores no sooner than 2011, I just can’t see Microsoft risking having another Windows ME on its hands.

This article originally appeared in on January 28, 2008.

Old Archives Microsoft claims Windows 7 more likely in 2011 – Debunking rumours