Microsoft just put out the shortest press release I've ever seen:
REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 13, 2007 – Microsoft released the following statement today from Kevin Kutz, Director, Windows Client, in response to recent speculation on the next version of the Microsoft Windows operating system:
“The launch of Windows Vista was an incredibly exciting moment for our customers and partners around the world, and the company is focused on the value Windows Vista will bring to people today. We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we’re working on it. When we are ready, we will provide updates.”
In other words: "Hey, we just spent 5 years working on this thing, we don't know what we're doing next. Why don't you guys go spend some time talking about that while we go figure it out, mmmk?"
The problem with that argument is that people, like myself, have been dissecting Vista for a very long time. To us, Vista is old news, and we've talked it to death. It needs millions of people using it to judge it's full effect on the market, which will take time. What are we supposed to do in the meantime? You guys haven't let out any details about the post-Allchin regime, or details on the post-Gates transition that is taking place right now. And Ray Ozzie has apparently been firmly ensconced in an undisclosed location for over a year now (I sure hope someone's been bringing him food and changing his litter box).
So Microsoft, instead of getting annoyed because we need something to do, you guys need to chalk it up as an unwanted side effect of taking 5 years to get your last product out the door. Since you guys have already said it won't happen again, we'll have more to do the next time you release a Windows product.