The follow-up to Windows Vista should arrive in calendar year 2009

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has already proclaimed that there is "More where that came from" when it comes to operating systems. According to PC World, 2009 is when we can expect more "wow" from Microsoft. During that year, Microsoft is expected to release the follow-up to Windows Vista which is codenamed Vienna.

Microsoft doesn't want another repeat of the 5-year drought between the release of Windows XP and Windows Vista, so the company is accelerating its plans for its next generation operating system.

The time and effort that should have been exerted on Windows Vista were instead diverted to getting Windows XP SP2 out the door. "Then when we came back to it, we realized that there were incremental things that we wanted to do, and significant improvements that we wanted to make in Vista that we couldn't deliver in one release," said Ben Fathi, a corporate VP in Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division.

The lack of focus resulted in a number of features being dropped from the initial release of Windows Vista. These included WinFS, native HD DVD and FireWire-B support, enhanced speech recognition and PC-to-PC sync.

Some of these shortcomings will be addressed with the first service pack for Vista, codename Fiji. A fully realized version of WinFS, however, will likely not appear until Vienna.

Fathi declined to comment on what exactly to expect with Vienna, but simply left PC World with these musings: “We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is. Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers." According to Fathi, we’ll have to stay tuned within the next few months to see what exactly Microsoft has up its sleeves for Vienna.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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